Triple Threat – There were developments today on each spear of the scandal trident currently bearing down on the West Wing.
On the IRS, In a late afternoon / early evening statement from the White House, Obama promised swift accountability at the IRS and said he had accepted the resignation of the acting IRS Commissioner, Steven Miller. http://abcn.ws/105BC1a
On Benghazi, the White House released 100 pages of emails that confirm heavy editing of media talking points, particularly by State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland, who was concerned that early drafts would give House members ammo to beat up on the administration. ABC’s Jonathan Karl first reported on Nuland’s emails last week. CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell took his editing pen to the talking points too.
In addition to political concerns, there was sensitivity to the FBI investigation into the Benghazi attack.
Also – getting a 200 word set of talking points approved through the White House, the CIA, the State Department, the FBI and the Justice Department seems like it would be a maddening bureaucratic exercise. Read them here: http://abcn.ws/12BOV7Z
On the AP’s phone records, the White House encouraged Chuck Schumer to reintroduce his media shield law. President Obama supports it, but it should be noted that it’s national security exception would likely mean it wouldn’t apply in the case of the AP records. http://abcn.ws/19usyU6 (Mary Bruce, Sunlen Miller, Steven Portnoy)
Fussbuckets at Holder Hearing – But the best drama of the day featured Eric Holder, who was in the hot seat at the House Judiciary Committee.
There was a cute moment when a baby literally fussed and sat in Grandpa Mel Watt’s lap as he asked Holder questions. http://abcn.ws/YK6gfH
But we’re not sure other parts of the hearing, with fussing adults, were fit for young ears.
Holder called Darrel Issa “shameful” in the way he and his committee do business.
Rep. Jim Jordan told Holder he doesn’t have a lot of credibility.
Louis Gohmert was every bit what we expect from Louis Gohmert.
Holder’s kicker: I respect the Oversight role that congress plays. This isn’t always a pleasant experience. It’s one that I recognize that you go through as an executive branch officer. The one thing I’ve always tried to do is always be respectful of the people who have asked me questions. I don’t frankly think I’ve always been treated with a great deal of respect. And I don’t – it’s not even a personal thing. If you don’t like me that’s one thing. But I am the Attorney General of the United States. Watch here: http://abcn.ws/16h0s2t
IRS Has Long History of Political Dirty Tricks – http://abcn.ws/16fA6hg
Boehner Demands Jail Time in IRS Scandal- House Speaker John Boehner today suggested that those who were responsible for the IRS targeting conservative groups should face jail time. “Now my question isn’t about who is going to resign,” Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters today. “My question is who’s going to jail over this scandal?” http://abcn.ws/13lv386 (John Parkinson)
Want to buy a gun in Chicago? @chriswilsondc has a cool interactive – http://yhoo.it/16zKXCp
Speier Calls Congress ‘Enablers of Sexual Assault’- Lawmakers Wednesday came down hard on military leaders, the morning after allegations emerged of another head of a military sexual assault prevention program engaging in the very behavior he was charged with stopping. http://abcn.ws/13xr4bP (Sarah Parnass, Luis Martinez)
The GOP Sees the World Through Google Glass-This week’s Republican House meeting was a little more exciting than weeks past, and it wasn’t just because of what was on the agenda. At the request of the GOP, Google representatives held Google Glass demonstrations at the beginning and the end of the meeting, allowing Congressional members to try on the sought-after technology. http://abcn.ws/10PCKXX (Alisa Wiersema)
Military to Retrain Sexual Assault Prevention Staff- After a second sex crime scandal in the military in the past week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered that all the Pentagon’s sexual assault prevention coordinators and military recruiters be retrained, re-credentialed and rescreened. http://abcn.ws/10WKDFj (Luis Martinez)
Note to Democrats and Republicans: This Is Not a Game- It is often amusing to watch sporting events with fans of opposing teams. They wear their team’s jerseys and scream and yell on behalf of their home allegiance. They see all the games and plays through the prism of their fan support of their team. They yell at refs for bad calls against their team, they get upset when they think the opposing team is playing dirty, and have a real hard time accepting when their team does not play well or loses. http://abcn.ws/10y2Vg7 (Matthew Dowd)