GOP Disc Failure! Rep. Issa's "Corrupted" Memory

January 06, 2011 12:08 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Back in October, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the new chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told Rush Limbaugh that President Obama is "one of the most corrupt presidents of modern times." In the past few months, though, Issa has dialed down his rhetoric and repeatedly pledged to use his subpoena power judiciously. 

On CNN last night, Issa said that "Congress is more to blame" than Obama for the "misuse" of federal money, but defended his past characterization of the White House. Relying on a very narrow definition of "corrupt," Issa compared the Obama administration to "a disc drive that's given you some bits that are wrong," claiming that he never "implied wrong-doing of the president at a criminal level."  

"I think people misunderstand the meaning of the word corrupt, and obviously, CNN does. 'Corrupt', or 'corrupted' or 'failure', it's no different than a disc drive that's given you some bits that are wrong," Issa said on CNN.

Issa continued, "I have never said it's illegal. I've never made any of the statements that are often said on CNN that implied wrong-doing of the president at a criminal level, but I do believe that the American people have changed the control of the House in no small part because they saw more regulation, more misspending than they ever dreamed possible and they need Republicans to be part of the balance to bring that back under control."


However, it is Issa's own memory that appears to have been "corrupted." Last May, Issa declared that the White House's alleged job offer to Joe Sestak in exchange for dropping out of the Pennsylvania Senate race "could be impeachable." Hyping the pseudo-scandal on Fox News, Issa was unequivocal: "It is a crime," he declared.