How Darrell Issa Could Help House Democrats in 2019

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It's been a long time since retiring congressman and original chicken fucker Darrell Issa (R-CA) was the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, but legal battles he fought against the Obama administration and former Attorney General Eric Holder could ultimately help House Democrats who want to conduct oversight of the Trump regime in 2019.

When Issa embarked on his years-long phishing expedition to uncover The Truth about Operation Fast and Furious, a gun-running sting program first created by the Bush administration in 2006, the Obama administrations claimed executive privilege over some of the documents Issa demanded access to.

Issa fought the Obama administration in court and won, but the funny thing about that is those rulings are still on the books and applicable today.

Buzzfeed News takes us on a trip down memory lane:

On June 20, 2012, Obama claimed executive privilege over Justice Department documents after Feb. 4, 2011, which is when the department initially denied allowing gun walking. Later that month, the House of Representatives voted 255–67 to find Holder in contempt of Congress.

In August 2012, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sued the Justice Department to enforce its subpoena.

In September 2013, [US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson] denied the Obama administration’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. She rejected the Justice Department’s argument that the case was the type of “political dispute” that courts shouldn’t get involved in. Courts had addressed legal questions about subpoenas and executive privilege before, she found.

I had not forgotten about Darrell Issa's legal crusade but, unbeknownst to me, the Trump regime made several attempts over the past year to roll back Judge Jackson's old rulings.

The good news is she apparently saw right through it.

In the months leading up to the midterm elections, the Trump administration tried to get two key rulings in the case stricken from the record. In March, the Justice Department announced a tentative settlement with House Republicans: The department would produce additional documents if the judge, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, would agree to vacate her earlier decisions.

In a sharply worded opinion on Oct. 22, Jackson denied the request. Although the case is still pending — House Republicans appealed several rulings against them — there were few issues that hadn’t been resolved, she wrote.

“So there was little if anything to negotiate, and the only real change in circumstance since the filing of the appeal has been the change in political leadership at the Department of Justice in the wake of the Presidential election,” Jackson wrote. “This suggests that the primary, if not the sole, objective of the conditional settlement and the pending motion is to erase the Court’s prior rulings.

Sources who spoke to Buzzfeed News say they expect House Democrats will point toward the Obama-era court rulings against executive privilege if the Trump regime refuses to comply with their requests when they take control of the House.

Former Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa eventually received all of the documents he requested (tens of thousands of them), but he ultimately didn't find anything.

Republicans who've controlled the House for the past 8 years never found anything incriminating they could conclusively pin against the Obama administration, but I expect House Democrats will find things we don't even know about yet.

Rep. Darrell Issa's seat in Congress will be occupied by Democrat Mike Levin in 2019.

  • muselet

    There is an old Yiddish curse that seems apt here: “May you get what you wish for.” (The same sentiment is found in English: “Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.”) I wonder if Rs are familiar with that.

    Good for Amy Berman Jackson for slapping down the DOJ for its pretty obvious overreach.


  • gescove

    Payback is a bitch. A lesson Republicans fail to learn time and time again in their short-sighted pursuits of fleeting political advantages.

    • Aynwrong

      Unfortunately Dems aren’t too big on payback. Let’s hope they’ve learned that lesson and are about to the GOP both barrels.

      • Christopher Foxx

        They really should. Both learn the lesson and go after the GOP no-holds-barred.

        Because the GOP is playing the long game. They’ve been stacking courts and rigging the system for decades and the current setback doesn’t mean they’ll change their ways. On the contrary, they’re already making the moves to scare the Dems off from investigating and tell teh public everything in the Dems fault.

        The only thing that will change this, is the removal of the modern Republican party from being a force in our politics. And that means holding the accountable for every thing they’ve done, unrelentingly, without exception.

        That lesson has been demonstrated many times and that the Dems still don’t get it is concerning.