Issa hits a nerve: Obama camp retaliates with ugly personal smears

Evidence of the sheer panic in the Obama administration over the Internal Revenue Service scandal was on display Sunday from former senior Obama advisor David Plouffe who launched a personal attack on House Oversight chairman Rep. Darrell Issa.

After Issa’s appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” where he called White House spokesman Jay Carney “a paid liar” for insisting that only a few “rogue” IRS agents were responsible for targeting conservatives, Plouffe tweeted:

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 7.44.19 AMPlouffe, clearly in must-protect-the-president-from-scandal mode, was referring to obscure criminal charges brought against Issa in 1972 and 1982, according to CNN who was the first to report the nasty tweet.

CNN explained:

In 1972, then-19-year-old Issa too was arrested under suspicion of stealing a car, but Issa claims it was a case of mistaken identity and the charges were ultimately dropped.

In 1982, the office and factory of two companies Issa had purchased, Quantum Enterprises and Steal Stopper International, caught on fire. The insurance company’s investigation found “suspicious burn patterns” and company officials noted that in the month before the fire Issa had increased his insurance from $100,000 to $462,000. As the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza noted, the “Ohio state fire marshal never determined the cause of the fire and no one was ever charged with a crime”; Issa and the insurance company settled out of court.

But you have to hand it to Plouffe. Just in case he was called out (and he was) on why in the world he would bring up a 40-year-old non-story, he made sure to get in some of Issa’s more recent “ethics issues.”

According to CNN, who debunked those “ethics issues:”

Asked why he brought up Issa’s criminal record from 1972 (when the charges were dismissed) and an arson investigation from 21 years ago where no one was charged with a crime, Plouffe told CNN that Issa’s “ethics issues are far more recent. Look at ethics complaints filed.”

There have been at least three ethics complaints filed against Issa, all from left-leaning groups. Complains filed in and of themselves don’t necessarily mean anything, of course. House Ethics Committee or Office of Congressional Ethics judgments are much more important, and as of now there have been none against Issa.

“Looks like the Chairman hit a nerve today,” Issa’s spokesman Frederick Hill told CNN about Plouffe’s tweet. “Hopefully President Obama follows Plouffe on Twitter and may finally see some information from a senior advisor about what’s going on at the IRS.”

Some Twitter users took Plouffe to task over this bizarre personal attack on Issa:

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But it was Jim Geraghty from National Review who put Plouffe’s pathetic attack on Isssa in perspective Monday:

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Issa: IRS was directly ordered from Washington, Carney a ‘paid liar’

More from CNN.


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