Document dump: Read DHS’s deadline snub and Issa’s forceful response

Jonathan Strong Jonathan Strong, 27, is a reporter for the Daily Caller covering Congress. Previously, he was a reporter for Inside EPA where he wrote about environmental regulation in great detail, and before that a staffer for Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA). Strong graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a degree in political science in 2006. He is a huge fan of and season ticket holder to the Washington Capitals hockey team. Strong and his wife reside in Arlington.
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Yesterday, The Daily Caller reported that the Obama administration had snubbed top GOP oversight official Rep. Darrell Issa on his first major document deadline as new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sending a short letter promising to comply in response to a major information request that was due Saturday at noon.

A Jan. 28 letter from the Department of Homeland Security said the agency is “in the process of retrieving” documents requested by Issa “and will make them available for your review expeditiously.”

But the next day, Issa’s two-week deadline expired.

Now Issa is hitting back with a forceful response that demands key documents by Thursday.

In his Feb. 1 response, Issa notes DHS missed his deadline despite giving no indication it would not be able to meet it.

Further, several passages in the letter appear to indicate someone inside DHS is providing Issa information.

For instance, Issa notes that his staff “obtained material that called into question” what DHS told Issa about the issue at a September briefing. He also charges that top DHS officials instructed career staff not to search for documents responsive to his request.

Issa is requesting documents from DHS about political interference with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the agency.

In July, the Associated Press reported top DHS officials told career employees to steer sensitive FOIA requests to Obama’s political advisers for unusual scrutiny.

FOIA requests by lawmakers, watchdog groups and journalists were subjected to the special political reviews.

Jan. 28 DHS letter
Feb. 1 Issa response letter