President Barack Obama’s top lawyer sent House Overisght and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa a letter Wednesday arguing that all of Obama’s political and fundraising activities in the White House have been legal and above board.
Issa wrote to White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler earlier this month, demanding documents and e-mails about a March meeting Obama held with Wall Street donors in the Blue Room and a video Obama taped in the Map Room for a fundraising raffle run by his campaign. Issa said the events may have been illegal, but he stopped short of directly accusing the president of breaking the law.
“The political activity and events you reference in your letter were not only legally permissible, but also consistent with the practices of prior Administrations from both political parties,” Ruemmler wrote in her Wednesday letter, obtained by POLITICO and posted here. “Allegations of illegal fundraising behavior at the White House are wholly without merit.”
The White House’s response—delivered a day after a deadline the House committee chairman set—may be courting a showdown with Issa because it did not include any of the records Issa demanded.
So goeth the most open and transparent administration ever.