Issa Accuses FBI and IRS Chief Counsel of Stonewalling Tea Party Targeting Investigation, Networks Censor

On Monday Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the Oversight Committee investigating the IRS’s targeting of the Tea Party, made a stunning claim that the FBI was stonewalling his investigation.

Last week, Issa was so frustrated with William Wilkins' testimony, in which he used the phrase “I don’t recall” 80 times, he accused the IRS chief counsel of “either a deliberate attempt to obfuscate” or “gross incompetence.” Number of Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) stories on these stunning allegations? Zero.

On December 2 the Washington Times reported the following: “The House’s chief investigator says the FBI is stonewalling his inquiry into whether the agency and the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative group True the Vote for special scrutiny, and Rep. Darrell E. Issa is now threatening subpoenas to pry loose the information from FBI Director James B. Comey Jr. Mr. Issa, California Republican, and Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, are leading the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s IRS inquiry. They also said the FBI is refusing to turn over any documents related to its own investigation into the IRS, which began in the days after an auditor’s report revealed the tax agency had improperly targeted tea party groups for special scrutiny.”

The article by the Times’ Stephen Dinan went on to note: “Six months after it began, the FBI’s investigation has resulted in no release of information. The congressmen said the FBI even rescinded an offer for an in-person briefing with the assistant director in charge of the investigation. The reversal, after the FBI consulted with the Justice Department, suggests political meddling, the two investigators said.”

Back on November 27 The National Review reported that the Oversight Committee expressed “dissatisfaction with Wilkins’s testimony and, in a letter sent to him on Wednesday, offering him the opportunity to amend it.” The NR’s Eliana Johnson then quoted from the letter by Issa and Rep. Jim Jordan: “In your testimony, you stated ‘I don’t recall’ a staggering 80 times in full or partial response to the Committee’s questions...Your failure to recollect important aspects of the Committee’s investigation suggests either a deliberate attempt to obfuscate your involvement in this matter or gross incompetence on your part.”

The omission of these stories by the Big Three networks continues their months long trend of refusing to report one IRS scandal bombshell after another. For more please read the MRC’s page dedicated to how the Big Three networks have covered or not covered the IRS scandal. IRS/Tea Party scandal investigation.                   

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.