It’s time to stop asking what the White House knew and begin asking what the Republicans knew.
Whether or not you agree with the actions of local IRS agents who applied extra scrutiny to Tea Party and progressive groups, it shouldn’t come as a shock. At least not to House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa who was informed of the investigation nearly a year ago.
IRS inspector general J. Russell George told Issa, in a letter dated July 11, 2012, that he was investigating the matter and offered to keep him updated on the progress. The same letter was sent to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) as well. An Issa aide told ABC News, “The Oversight Committee knew about the audit because it requested it.”
Why does it matter that Darrell Issa and the Republicans were already aware of the inspector general’s investigation of the IRS? Because the Republicans have hyped the idea that the Obama administration knew about the actions of the Cincinnati IRS agents before the 2012 election.
In reality, Darrell Issa himself was aware of their actions.
Meanwhile, this report from Brian Beutler on the Republicans’ advanced knowledge of the now-infamous White House Benghazi emails is quite daming
Sources with knowledge of key congressional briefings earlier this year on administration emails regarding the Sept 11, 2012 Benghazi attack tell TPM that those in attendance were provided clear information that the White House remained neutral in adjudicating a dispute between the State Department and the CIA over talking points at the center of a months-long controversy.
In walking members and their staffs through the internal emails, the administration provided extensive explanations of how the talking points evolved, sources in attendance tell TPM. The extent of the information provided in the classified briefings calls into further question how a summary of the emails that was leaked to ABC News overstated the White House’s role in crafting them.
That’s convenient, isn’t it? The fact that the briefings were classified. It gave them a pass not to mention it.
Congressional Republicans have known all along that there was no there there, and they’ve taken the press along for a ride with them down the witch hunt rabbit hole.