Darrell Issa Refuses to Drop White House Political Aide Subpoena

by Joel Gehrke

A briefing from White House staff failed to convince the congressional investigators probing violations of a law banning the use of taxpayer funds for campaign activities to drop a subpoena of President Obama’s top political hand.

White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach director David Simas must testify before Congress about the Obama team’s Hatch Act violations, House Oversight and Government Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) announced.

“The Committee has outstanding questions for Mr. Simas, who did not take part in the briefing, and it is necessary for him to appear at tomorrow’s hearing,” Issa said Tuesday.  “Mr. Simas is still under subpoena and is expected to appear at tomorrow’s hearing.  I believe his on-the-record testimony will provide valuable insight into White House efforts to ensure appropriate use of taxpayer funds.”

Issa explained that the Tuesday briefing with White House staff failed to eliminate the need for Simas to testify under oath, in part because the Obama aides refused to explain why congressional investigators have such a difficult time getting documents from the White House.

“During the briefing, White house staff declined our request to discuss compliance with the Committee’s document requests or to even describe the process and identify relevant officials involved in the decision to reopen the White House political office,” Issa wrote to Neil Eggleston, Obama’s counsel.

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