Tags: Darrell Issa | David Simas | White House | Subpoena

Issa Stands By Demand That White House Political Aide Testify

Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 04:25 PM

Republican Darrell Issa of California, chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, today rejected a White House request that he lift a subpoena for one of President Barack Obama’s top political advisers.

Issa said in a statement that David Simas, director of the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, still must appear tomorrow at a hearing on the scope of White House political activity.

The statement was a response to a letter sent yesterday by White House Counsel W. Neil Eggleston, asking Issa to lift the subpoena in return for a briefing on how the political strategy office complies with laws restricting the political activity of federal employees.

“The committee has outstanding questions for Mr. Simas,” Issa said. “I believe his on-the-record testimony will provide valuable insight into White House efforts to ensure appropriate use of taxpayer funds.”

White House political aides spent more than an hour today briefing Issa’s aides on their operations and answering questions, according to a Democratic aide who asked for anonymity to describe the private session. Issa didn’t attend the briefing, which his office says was only for staff.

Democrats on the committee say Issa has no evidence of inappropriate activity by the White House political operation and charged him with issuing the subpoena to further his own political ambitions

“This subpoena is the latest in a string of misguided and increasingly desperate efforts to retain the spotlight while lobbing unsubstantiated attacks against the White House,” wrote Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, the highest ranking Democrat on the committee in a letter to Issa yesterday.

Presidents from both parties have kept political offices in the White House and have long resisted congressional efforts to subpoena their staff. They’ve often been defended by members of their own party on Capitol Hill.

“I don’t think there is any doubt that the president’s top advisers are covered under executive privilege,” House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, who was then minority leader, told reporters in 2007 when Republican President George W. Bush was in the White House.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lisa Lerer in Washington at llerer@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net Joe Sobczyk

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Republican Darrell Issa of California, chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, today rejected a White House request that he lift a subpoena for one of President Barack Obama's top political advisers.
Darrell Issa, David Simas, White House, Subpoena
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2014-25-15
Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 04:25 PM
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