Oversight Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) suggested in a letter he wrote to Issa on Tuesday that [Issa's recent policy change] was the political affiliation of the members.
“Although two previous Chairmen of the Oversight Committee followed the longstanding practice of referring matters involving Members of Congress directly to the Ethics Committee, you abandoned this practice last February when you issued a unilateral subpoena — your first as Chairman — demanding to see these Member files yourself,” Cummings wrote. “The documents produced in response to your subpoena reveal four previously undisclosed instances in which Members of Congress received Countrywide VIP loans. All four intances involve Republican Members, including three current Republican House Members and one former Republican House Member.”
Reps. Buck McKeon (R), Elton Gallegly (R) and Pete Sessions (R) received the previously undisclosed loans, representatives have acknowledged to various publications, while the remaining individual is unknown. The website of the National Republican Congressional Committee, headed by Sessions, seemed to have been scrubbed of previous references to Countrywide on Tuesday evening.
Cummings is referring here to Issa's recent decision to not publicly identify four Republicans (the three named above, plus one other) who received sweetheart VIP-only loans from Countrywide, which seems a bit of a reversal from Issa's previous zeal for publicly uncovering naughty, naughty lawmaker behavior. It is a bit curious, and Cummings' letter slams Issa (PDF) for the about-face.
But what strikes me most about the story: holy hell, it has been three years and then some since Issa "launched" his "investigation", and they still haven't gotten to the bottom of whether Countrywide having a separate program for giving public officials and other powerful figures sweetheart deals was, you know, a bad thing? What, are they conducting their investigation in a sensory deprivation tank? Are they conducting all the hearings in the form of interpretive puppet shows? Exactly how much "investigating" does this take, from Issa, and has he bothered to do a damn bit of it yet?
I don't know. Frankly speaking, everything about Issa screams "crook" to me, and always has, so I long ago got to the point of assuming that Issa's committee actions are designed solely for the self-promotion and profit of Darrell Issa himself. But I still manage to be consistently surprised by just how absolutely rotten Congress has become, how incapable they are of policing themselves, and how little they care when the rest of us notice those things.