Skip to comments.Dem lawmaker (Cummings) slams Issa for sending US Marshals to serve subpoenas (green energy loans)
Posted on 09/12/2012 2:18:02 AM PDT by Libloather
Dem lawmaker slams Issa for sending US Marshals to serve subpoenas
By Ben Geman - 09/11/12 10:08 AM ET
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) says House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is conducting his probe of federal green energy project loans with bullying tactics and Novembers elections in mind.
Cummings, the panels top Democrat, sent Issa a letter Monday slamming a dozen subpoenas issued last week to current and former Energy Department employees and contractors, which included use of armed U.S. Marshals to serve subpoenas at the Energy Department (DOE).
The Maryland Democrat called it intimidation, and said the GOP probe has involved targeting individual employees and contractors with threatening telephone calls, emails and letters.
The committee's yearlong investigation has produced no evidence to support your claims of a broad scandal of political favoritism in the Department's loan guarantee program. Nevertheless, it appears that the Committee is expanding and escalating its efforts directly ahead of the November election, Cummings wrote.
Cummingss letter lays out an array of complaints with the 12 subpoenas. Ten are for documents, and two are for depositions ordered to occur in the next two weeks by Brandon Hurlbut, who is Energy Secretary Steven Chus chief of staff, and Morgan Wright, the director of strategic initiatives at the DOE loan program, the letter states.
Cummings says the depositions violate committee rules that require the panels chairman to consult the ranking member before ordering depositions.
He says all 12 subpoenas are inconsistent with Issas pledges of consultation before issuing subpoenas. Cummings adds that if consulted, he would have objected to Issas tactics.
I would have strongly opposed sending four armed U.S. Marshals into the Department of Energy to physically serve the subpoenas. There was absolutely no reason for this type of intimidation since the Department would have accepted the subpoenas by email, as it has done routinely in the past, including with our Committee, he writes.
Cummings raises other objections about a probe that he noted has identified no evidence of improper political favoritism.
The letter cites late-August correspondence from DOEs general counsel to Issa that expressed concern with phone calls to DOE employees from GOP committee staff with threatening references to U.S. Marshals coming to their homes to serve subpoenas.
DOE spokesman Damien LaVera also responded to the issuance of subpoenas.
"In addition to voluntarily providing more than 1 million pages of documents to Congress, the Department has fully complied with the Chairman's requests and provided all of the documents the Committee requested from these Department officials prior to the Committees baffling decision to issue subpoenas. No matter how hard some in Congress are working to distort the record, the facts clearly demonstrate that decisions on loan applications were made on the merits after careful review by career officials and technical experts in the loan program, LaVera said.
Issas panel has been conducting a broad probe of the Energy Department program that issued a $535 million loan guarantee to the solar panel company Solyndra, which collapsed last year.
Some other loan-guarantee recipients have also faced bankruptcies and financial headwinds, but administration officials say the overall green energy loan portfolio has succeeded in creating jobs and boosting the use of renewable energy.
While the Energy and Commerce Committee took the lead on the Solyndra inquiry, Issa has taken a wider look at the embattled loan program.
His committee is examining the use of personal email accounts by some officials and allegations of political influence in loan decisions.
Cummingss letter says Issas tactics are especially unnecessary because DOE has been tremendously cooperative with the panels probe, producing more than 600,000 pages of documents.
Attempting to circumvent the Department's General Counsel's Office by pursuing employees directly has increased the sense of intimidation among these employees and forced them to hire private counsel at considerable expense, the letter states.
Frederick Hill, a spokesman for Issa, called Cummingss complaints without merit.
Before the Obama administration took office, Oversight Committee Democrats actually investigated concerns about the use of non-official email accounts violating federal recordkeeping and transparency laws. Under the Obama administration, however, they've taken an anything-goes approach to such violations, Hill said.
The evidence shows that the use of non-official email accounts at the Department of Energy was part of an intentional and widespread effort to hide discussions about coordination with private-sector companies and interactions with the White House about loans to political supporters, he said.
Hill also said that the decision was made to use the U.S. Marshals only after five DOE employees refused to be served via e-mail.
RAT corruption doesn't stop. Why should Issa?
But it’s perfectly OK to send a SWAT squad to raid the dangerous folks at Gibson guitars.
No matter how hard some in Congress are working to distort the record, the facts clearly demonstrate that decisions on loan applications were made on the merits after careful review by career officials and technical experts in the loan program,....And within the year of receiving these loans, the career officials and technical experts were repeatedly shown to have been corrupted, ‘CAUSE THE COMPANIES WENT BANKRUPT.
I hate to tell this idiot this but Deputy US Marshals are always armed - what, he thinks they’re boy scouts?
It’s come to the point whenever a dem says something I can always figure the reality is opposite of their position.
Serving court papers, which is also known as service of process is listed as one of the duties performed by Deputy U.S. Marshals on the justice.gov website. Cummings is a major league A-hole.
“Cummings is a major league A-hole. Just another of the morons who support Obama.
I wonder who wrote the letter for Cummings, he sure isn’t smart enough to write it himself.
If it were not for being Marylands Representative in Congress he would be cleaning toilets on Baltimore’s block.A job he is much more qualified for.
I would like Cummings to clear something up for me..... Is it the color of their skin, their political affiliation or the combination of both that makes the Obama administration’s lawlessness okay with him?
Translation: Our communist corruption is being exposed!
Pray for America
Meanwhile Dems subtle threat to a polling company because their numbers didn't make the Dems look good is okay?
Way to go Issa. It’s about time these idiots realize you are not kidding.
What Cummings is so afraid of is Issa confirming is alll the green energy funding was actually a dem money laundering scheme...
Ask yourself one question.... How could a company the size of solyndra loss 500 million dollars...?
That’s a lot of money to be in the red for...where did it go ....?
I’d like to know....
Criminals always feel the cops are bullies.