As part of the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing, with FBI Director Robert Mueller testifying, Republican members poked and prodded what about progress, if any, the FBI has made into several investigations including the IRS targeting scandal, Benghazi, the NSA metadata collection and the Boston Marathon Bombing. This blog covers Representative Jim Jordan’s (@Jim_Jordan) interrogation regarding the FBI’s investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups.
Rep. Jordan: Director, this past Sunday, Mr. Cummings, ranking minority member on the Oversight Committee said based on everything he’s seen regarding the IRS case, based on everything he’s seen the case is solved. Is Mr. Cummings accurate in his assessment?
FBI Mueller: Could you repeat that if you would.
Rep. Jordan: Based on everything I’ve seen according to Mr. Cummings, the case is solved regarding the IRS scandal.
FBI Mueller: Which case?
Rep. Jordan: The IRS scandal.
FBI Mueller: The IRS case?
Rep. Jordan: Yes
FBI Mueller: No. The IRS case is currently under investigation and basically it’s just starting.
Rep. Jordan: What can you tell us? You started a month and a half ago. What can you tell us about this? Have you found any, have you found the two now infamous rogue agents? Have you discovered who those people are?
FBI Mueller: Needless to say because it’s under investigation I can’t give out any of the details.
Rep. Jordan: Can you tell some basics? Can you me how many agents and investigators you’ve assigned to the case?
FBI Mueller: Ah, I may be able to do that but I’ll have to get back to you.
Rep. Jordan: Can you tell me who the lead investigator is?
FBI Mueller: Off the top of my head no.
Rep. Jordan: This is the most important issue in front of the country the last six weeks and you don’t know who’s heading up the case? Who the lead investigator is?
FBI Mueller: Ah, at this juncture no I do not know.
Rep. Jordan: Can you get that information to us? We’d like to know how many people you’ve assigned to look into this situation.
FBI Mueller: I have not had a recent briefing on it. I had a briefing on it when we first initiated it, but I have not had a recently briefing as to where we are.
Rep. Jordan: So you don’t know who’s leading the case?
FBI Mueller: I do not know who is leading it.
Rep. Jordan: Do you know if you’ve talked to any of the victims? Have you talked to any of the groups who were targeted by their government? Have you met with any of the Tea Party folks since May 14, 2013?
FBI Mueller: I don’t know what the status of the interviews are by the team that’s on it.
Rep. Jordan: Would you expect that that’s been done?
FBI Mueller: Ah, there, ah, At certainly at some in point in time of course the investigation will be done but generally at the onset of the investigation you get the documents that you can have that are written. I don’t know specifically what is happening.
Rep. Jordan: In your extensive record and history in investigative work, don’t you typically talk to the victim? It’s a criminal investigation, don’t you typically talk to the victims pretty soon?
FBI Mueller: Absolutely and I’m sure it will happen.
Rep. Jordan: So did the FBI contact any of these same victims? Were they contacted by the FBI prior to the investigation when these same groups were applying for tax exempt status? Did the FBI pay some of these victims a visit?
FBI Mueller: I do not know.
Rep. Jordan: Pardon?
FBI Mueller: I do not know.
Rep. Jordan: You do not know?
FBI Mueller: I do not know.
Rep. Jordan: Some of them testified that they were paid a visit by the FBI, specifically Catherine Engelbrecht in Texas said she was visited by the FBI. She was head of True The Vote (@TrueTheVote). Is that true or not?
FBI Mueller: I do not know.
Rep. Jordan: You do not know. Okay. If the FBI did contact people involved in the IRS scandal, victims groups prior to the investigation when they were applying for tax exempt status, why was that the case? Why would you be looking into it and was there possibly coordination with the IRS and why you targeted them?
FBI Mueller: You are asking me details about the investigation. I’d be happy to get back to you.
Rep. Jordan: I’m not asking you details about the investigation. I’m saying why were people targeted before the investigation started? Why were they contacted by the FBI? People who are now part of Tea Party groups targeted by the IRS?
FBI Mueller: You’re asking questions about details of the investigation. I’d be happy to take that
Rep. Jordan: That is not a detail about the investigation. That took place prior to the investigation started.
FBI Mueller: May I please finish? You’re asking detailed questions about the investigation. I’d be happy to get back to you and answer those questions that I can understanding it’s an ongoing investigation.
Rep. Jordan: I’m asking basic questions about the investigation like who’s heading it up and you can’t tell me that. Can you get back to me on any group who was targeted by the IRS who the FBI visited with prior to the investigation starting while they were applying for tax exempt status? That would be important information for this Committee to have. Can you get that to me?
FBI Mueller: I will look at the questions and try to respond.
Rep. Jordan: Have you reviewed the Inspector General’s report regarding the IRS scandal?
FBI Mueller: I have been through it yes.
Rep. Jordan: Do you have any concerns about the way the Inspector General did the report and collected information?
FBI Mueller: I did focus on that at all.
Rep. Jordan: Well let me ask you a couple of things. Is it typically appropriate for the investigator to have one of the central players in this Ms. Holly Paz, who was director of, one of the key players of the Tax Exempt Division sit in on all the interviews, almost all the interviews with employees in that Division? Is that typically how an investigation is done?
FBI Mueller: I’m not familiar with those circumstances. I understand what you are saying about those circumstances so not being familiar with it I can’t…
Rep. Jordan: In your time as an investigator, is that how you would do interviews with the boss sitting next to the person who you are trying to get information from? Is it appropriate for [inaudible] her [Holly Paz] to collect the data to give it to the Inspector General?
FBI Mueller: I’m not familiar with the
Rep. Jordan: If that happened, is that appropriate?
FBI Mueller: I’m not going to speculate.
Rep. Jordan: Let me ask one last thing because this did happen. Mr. Chairman, last question. So is it appropriate when the Inspector General is doing his investigation, doing his audit, to give information to the very people he is investigating in the course of the investigation and not share that same information with the Oversight Committee? Specifically, May 30th of last year, the Inspector General told Doug Shulman that the terms Tea Party, Patriot, 9/12 were used to identify groups and put them on a list. He told them that was going on at the IRS. He told them that a year ago. Four days later he told the General Counsel at Treasury, Chris Meed the same information but did not share that with the Committee who asked for the investigation the Committee who has oversight over the Inspector Generals in all federal agencies, did not share that with us. Is that typically how an investigation’s supposed to work?
FBI Mueller: Ah, again, you are talking about specific circumstances in which I am not familiar. Each investigation is a little bit different and I really can’t comment on what was appropriate in an investigation without knowing and sitting down and going through the facts.
Rep. Jordan: But that’s, if I could Mr. Chairman and then I’ll stop. That’s the point. You’ve had a month now to investigate. This has been the biggest story in the country and you can’t even tell me who the lead investigator is? You can’t tell me that actions the Inspector General took which are not typically how investigations are done, you can’t tell me if that’s appropriate or not. This is not speculation, this is what happened. And you can’t tell me how many agents as assigned to the most important news story, maybe the most important…
FBI Mueller: I’d be happy to take your questions in writing.
Was Director Mueller involved with the investigation or interrogation of the Boston Marathon Terror suspect one that Russia warned us about? How can the FBI Director be unable to answer Rep. Jordan’s most basic questions on investigative procedure? Why is it that FBI Director Mueller is unaware of who is heading the investigation into the IRS targeting and how many agents are assigned? Could it be that this has been swept aside according to orders from above? These and many other questions need to be answered. Demand the truth. Demand accountability. We are a Red Nation Rising.