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WASHINGTON — Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) conceded Friday that, despite his weeks-long effort to subpoena White House political adviser David Simas to testify before his committee, there is no evidence of any wrongdoing by Simas’ office.
Issa said during a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which he chairs, that he’s not demanding that Simas testify because he thinks the White House Office of Political Affairs has inappropriately engaged in political campaign activities. Rather, Issa said, it’s the potential for that office to overstep the line in the future that he wants to examine.
“We are accusing neither the president nor this four-person office of any wrongdoing,” Issa said, adding, “I allege no wrongdoing.”
Issa has been scuffling with the White House for weeks over his demand that Simas testify about his office’s work in the context of the Hatch Act, a law that prohibits federal workers from engaging in partisan political activities. The White House ignored Issa’s subpoena last week, claiming that Simas has immunity since his office hasn’t done anything wrong. In the meantime, administration officials met with Issa’s committee staff for more than an hour to answer their questions, and a special investigator’s office concluded there is no evidence that Simas’ team has broken any laws.
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