WASHINGTON, July 7, 2016 — Last October, GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, former chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, told MSNBC that Rep. Jason Chaffetz, his replacement, was, less than competent.
“He [Chaffetz] put shining pictures of Utah on the [committee chamber’s] wall and he basically stopped doing [oversight]. There hasn’t been a single committee report or staff report published since he’s been chairman,” said Issa, who was instrumental in bringing public attention to the Obama Administration’s Operation Fast and Furious gunrunning operation.
Chaffetz’s incompetence was on full display Thursday. FBI Director James Comey came to Capitol Hill to explain his recommendation that the Democratic presidential candidate of 2016 not be indicted for her mishandling of classified U.S. government material.
“Did Hillary Clinton lie?” Chaffetz inquired.
“To the FBI?” asked a stunned Comey. “We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI.”
“Did Hillary Clinton lie under oath?” Chaffetz pressed.
“Not to the FBI. Not in a case we’re working,” said Comey.
Chaffetz somehow managed to make his point, “Did you review the documents where Congressman Jim Jordan [of the House Select Committee on Benghazi] asked her specifically and she said, quote, ‘There was nothing marked classified on my emails, either sent or received,’ end quote? … Did the FBI investigate her statements under oath on this topic?”
“Not to my knowledge,” said Comey, “I don’t think there has been a referral from Congress.”
Committee Chairman Chaffetz was genuinely surprised. “Do you need a referral from Congress to investigate her statements under oath?
“Sure do,” answered the nation’s top G-Man.
“You’ll have one in the next few hours,” declared Chaffetz.
Nearly a year ago, Issa told MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, “Jason’s a good man, an honorable man, but he got his job by going to [former Speaker John] Boehner and saying he would shut down that [partisan] rancor that was going on. He would go-along-to-get-along, and he’s done that.”
Chaffetz exemplifies the Republican Party’s long and loving embrace of the Peter Principle, which posits that managers “rise to the level of their incompetence.”
And Republican incompetence has proven Hillary Clinton’s most effective get-out-of-jail card.