by Editorial Board • Investor’s Business Daily
An aide to the attorney general accidentally calls the office of the House Oversight Committee chairman, asking for help in spinning the defense of the agency whose head just said they obey the law when they can.
We have commented many times of the all-too-cozy relationship between the IRS and Democratic members of the House and Senate, with members writing to the agency demanding that specific conservative groups and political action committees they find particularly irritating be subject to the “special scrutiny” that the Tea Party and other conservative and religious groups were subjected to in the ongoing scandal.
Of particular interest to us has been Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., ranking member on Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, who has made every effort to keep the committee from finding out the true extent of IRS corruption and abuse of power in its targeting of conservatives.
As we’ve noted, emails released by Issa, a California Republican, show that Cummings’ Democratic staff had requested information from the IRS’ tax-exempt division, the one headed by Lois Lerner, on True the Vote, a conservative group that monitors polling places for voter fraud and supports the use of voter IDs, something that Cummings opposes.
“The IRS and the Oversight Minority made numerous requests for virtually identical information from True the Vote, raising concerns that the IRS improperly shared, protected taxpayer information with Rep. Cummings’ staff,” the Oversight panel said in a statement.
According to Issa, Cummings and his staff sought “copies of all training materials used for volunteers, affiliates or other entities” from True the Vote.
Five days later, True the Vote received an almost identical request for information from the IRS.
As we reported, Holly Paz, the deputy of Lois Lerner who headed the IRS division handling tax-exempt organizations, had forwarded True the Vote’s 990 forms (on which nonprofit groups report their financial information) to Cummings’ staff.
Now we have Brian Fallon, a former aide to New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer and a communications aide to Attorney General Eric Holder, who mistakenly called Issa’s office thinking it was the office of Cummings and asked for help in leaking documents to selected reporters for the purpose of creating media spin before Issa and his committee could make them public.
As Jonathan Strong reports at Breitbart News, now the subject of an IRS audit, a letter sent by Issa to Holder about the call “describes Fallon as ‘audibly shaken’ when he realizes his request to leak documents to help get ahead of news stories about them was mistakenly made to the very office he was seeking to undermine.”
Strong reports that “Issa believes the call was intended to be made to Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings’ staff, the ranking member of the oversight panel, the letter said.”
According to Issa, the documents related to one Andrew Strelka, the former Lerner staffer who handled lawsuits stemming from the Tea Party targeting, whom the committee demanded be turned over to them for questioning.
Strelka has been a missing person in addition to the missing emails, whereabouts unknown. Strelka later worked for a time as an attorney in the Justice Department’s tax division, a clear and troubling conflict of interest.
On Sept. 3, Republican Congressman Jim Jordan wrote an angry letter to Holder, demanding to know the whereabouts of former DOJ and Lerner staffer Strelka, or at least be given his contact information, suggesting that the Justice Department was deliberately trying to keep Strelka under wraps.
This tangled web of corruption and deceit does not end at the IRS but weaves its way through the corridors of the Justice Department and the halls of Congress.