Darrell Issa he could turn the tempest of the IRS's extra scrutiny of Tea-Party group's non-profit application into a Teapot Dome. On August 5, Issa, who is chair of the House Oversight Committee, widened his stalled investigation of the IRS to include contracts between revenue agency and the Federal Elections Commission. On August 7, Reuters broke the story that the NSA had been sharing personnel and resources with the DEA and IRS. Issa's aggressive grandstanding and hearings has yet to lead to the issuance of subpoenas into NSA-IRS wiretapping and data mining.

Issa's hearings and compulsive subpoena behaviors focus on IRS questioning of tax-exempt organizations’ involvement in electoral politics in ways that are not permitted within the framework of permitted non-profit charters. Issa's concerns are that certain conservative groups may have been subjected to greater scrutiny.

According to documents acquired by the Free Press [view here], conservative groups were targeted if they had words like Tea-Party, 9/12, or Patriot in their name. The document also called for scrutiny of progressive groups, but the terms to be targeted were redacted under IRS rule 6103, which requires the IRS to protect taxpayers’ identity. The redactions seem to indicate the IRS is more sensitive about who was targeted on the left as opposed to the right.

New life flowed into Issa's inquisition this week when it was revealed that Lori Lerner, the IRS official in charge of the tax-exempt division, had been in communication with the Federal Elections Commission regarding these investigations. Lerner had been employed at the FEC immediately prior to her tenure at the IRS.

Issa, who voted against the Amash-Conyers amendment to defund the NSA, has not subpenaed any emails from the IRS's Criminal Investigative Division to determine if data-mining or wiretaps had been part of the Lerner's tax-exempt screening efforts. Indeed, despite the fact IRS receiving NSA data gathered under the Patriot act for non-terrorism investigation is completely illegal, Issa has not made a single statement about the practice. Issa has been presented a golden opportunity to actually prove that the Obama administration has used the IRS to politically interfere with the Tea Party. He has not availed himself of this opportunity. Issa's investigations are clearly related to his “get Obama” agenda rather than defense of protected speech.

The IRS could potentially be investigating millions of Americans for their political affiliations via illegal wiretaps. Issa is instead concerned with the tax law being applied stringently to his political fellow travelers. When the law is applied stringently and secretly to his potential opponents he could care less. When the law is broken to investigate the free speech and association of ordinary Americans, his silence is deafening and his support for the practice is a matter of public record.