By Rick Manning, The Hill contributor August 11, 2014
Twenty different Obama administration officials have lost or destroyed a portion of their email traffic. Email traffic that was, in some cases, under subpoena or in others requested as part of a larger inquiry into the conduct of the executive branch.
House Committee on Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) expressed his frustration at the revelation that another Obama official, Marilyn Tavenner, the director of the Center for Medicare Services, deleted emails in the wake of the botched Healthcare.gov website roll out, stating, “It defies logic that so many senior Administration officials were found to have ignored federal recordkeeping requirements only after Congress asked to see their e-mails [sic].”
Yes, Rep. Issa, it does defy logic.
The brazenly contemptuous stonewall-and-erase-evidence approach to congressional inquiries preferred by the Obama administration is perhaps this president’s greatest affront to our constitutional system of government.
When you have records going missing across an administration, it is impossible to conclude anything other than it is a coordinated and condoned cover-up, and not just a series of incompetent, coincidental keystrokes wiping out information.
The conclusions get even uglier when you realize that the IRS dismissed the government contractor responsible for maintaining back-up files of their emails concurrent with Lois Lerner and her band mysteriously having their computers flatline.
The question is, where are the Democrats in the face of this obvious malfeasance?
During the Watergate scandal that brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon, a few Republicans came forward and urged the president to come clean. Yet, the silence is deafening from Democrats in both the House and Senate in the wake of this obvious obstruction of the congressional oversight function.
Where are the patriots on the Democratic side, who are willing to stand up to an executive branch that has declared them inconsequential?
The Democrats’ partisan acquiescence to Obama’s declaration of war against congressional prerogatives sets the precedent that future presidents can hardly be faulted for following. A precedent that makes a mockery of the legislative branch and brings into question why we bother even providing office space for Congress at all?
With 20 Obama officials from all over the government losing critical emails, one wonders what, if any, is the threshold for Democratic outrage?
When are the Democratic Party and their elected officials going to put our nation ahead of partisanship?
If the past few years are any indication, I’m not holding my breath.
Manning (@rmanning957) is vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.