Darrell Issa Calls Eric Holder and President Obama “CORRUPT!?!”
Things we should know about Congressman Darrell Issa from San Diego, California.
In an interview with Rush Limbaugh last year, Issa described Obama as “one of the most corrupt Presidents in modern times.”
Darrell Issa accused of arson.
At 2:35 A.M. on September 7, 1982, the phone rang in Issa’s house. The Quantum and Steal Stopper office and factory was on fire. A lieutenant in the Maple Heights Fire Department noted in his incident report that the “cause of this fire appears to be electrical.” The fire had started at a workbench where light bulbs for bug zappers were tested. Almost everything of value was gone. Fortunately for Issa, he had recently increased his fire insurance.
Issa was soon suspected of doing something worse: burning down the factory. The initial notion that an electrical socket had caused the fire was challenged. The science of determining whether a fire was caused by arson can be flawed. But a fire-analysis report commissioned by the St. Paul insurance company, and dated October 19, 1982, a month after the incident, concluded that the fire was “incendiary.” The report cited “suspicious burn patterns,” such as “two separate major areas of origin,” and it said, “No accidental source of heating power was located at either of these two major areas of origin.” The manner in which stacks of cardboard boxes burned was inconsistent with an accidental fire. A flammable liquid appeared to have been poured over the boxes. The blue flames seen emanating from the roof were evidence, according to the investigators, of burning carbon monoxide that is produced when an accelerant like gasoline ignites. The black smoke was also a clue. “Such black smoke normally occurs in a fire only when a hydrocarbon is burning,” the report said. When investigators tested burn damage from inside the factory, they found “the same identical mixture of flammable hydrocarbons” in four samples taken from diverse locations.
Joey Adkins, the former owner of Steal Stopper, provided the main evidence against Issa. On the afternoon of September 20, 1982, in a lengthy recorded interview with an insurance investigator, he described a series of suspicious actions by Issa before the fire. Adkins, who still worked for Steal Stopper, said that Issa removed the company’s Apple II computer from the building, including “all hardware, all software, all the instruction books,” and also “the discs for accounts payable, accounts receivable, customer list, everything.” According to Adkins, Issa also transferred a copy of every design used by Steal Stopper from a filing cabinet to a fireproof box. He also said that Issa put in the box some important silk screens used in the production of circuit boards. Insurance officials noted that, less than three weeks before the fire, Issa had increased his insurance from a hundred thousand dollars to four hundred and sixty-two thousand dollars. “Quite frankly,” Adkins told the investigator, “I feel the man set the fire.”
Issa corroborated the suspicious actions before the fire, though he said that they proved nothing, and he offered an explanation for each. For example, he said that he increased the insurance, on the advice of his agent, because he was storing the inventory for several companies, and he removed the Apple II computer only because he wanted his lawyer to help him install new accounting software. He was irritated that a series of innocent actions had been twisted into such a serious allegation. “You can always try to make a circumstantial case,” he said.
Darrell Issa fails in Republican Primary for United State Senate.
In 1997, he decided to run for the United States Senate. His impressive background—working-class high-school dropout, Army officer who helped protect the President, and self-made high-tech tycoon interested in law and order.
Issa didn’t even win the Republican primary. Although he outspent his main opponent, Matt Fong, the state treasurer, by some nine million dollars, he lost by five points. His campaign fell apart after a burst of investigative reporting raised serious questions about his honesty and his past. Many politicians have committed indiscretions in earlier years: maybe they had an affair or hired an illegal immigrant as a nanny. Issa, it turned out, had, among other things, been indicted for stealing a car, arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, and accused by former associates of burning down a building.
Darrell Issa accused of lying about military record and providing security for President Nixon.
In May of 1998, Lance Williams, of the San Francisco Examiner, reported that Issa had not always received the “highest possible” ratings in the Army. In fact, at one point he “received unsatisfactory conduct and efficiency ratings and was transferred to a supply depot.” Williams also discovered that Issa didn’t provide security for Nixon at the 1971 World Series, because Nixon didn’t attend any of the games.
Darrell Issa steals a fellow soldier’s Dodge Charger while in military.
A member of Issa’s Army unit, Jay Bergey, told Williams that his most vivid recollection of the young Issa was that in December, 1971, Issa stole his car, a yellow Dodge Charger. “I confronted Issa,” Bergey said in 1998. “I got in his face and threatened to kill him, and magically my car reappeared the next day, abandoned on the turnpike.”
Darrell Issa and his brother William arrested for stealing a red Maserati.
On March 15, 1972, three months after Issa allegedly stole Jay Bergey’s car and one month after he left the Army for the first time, Ohio police arrested Issa and his older brother, William, and charged them with stealing a red Maserati from a Cleveland showroom. The judge eventually dismissed the case.
Darrell Issa convicted of carrying a concealed weapon.
While the Maserati case was pending, Issa went to college. Just before 11 P.M. on Friday, December 1, 1972, two police officers on patrol in the small town of Adrian noticed Issa driving a yellow Volkswagen the wrong way down a one-way street. The police pulled him over, and, as Issa retrieved the car registration, an officer saw something peculiar in the glove compartment. He searched it, and, according to the police report, found a .25-calibre Colt automatic inside a box of ammunition, along with a “military pouch” that contained “44 rounds of ammo and a tear gas gun and two rounds of ammo for it.” Issa was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. The policeman asked why he was armed. “He stated in Ohio you could carry a gun as long as you had a justifiable reason,” the report said. “His justifiable reason was for his car’s protection and his.” Issa pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of possession of an unregistered gun. He paid a small fine and was sentenced to six months’ probation.
Darrell Issa’s brother William sells Mercedes owned by Darrell, while Darrell reports car stolen. Brothers Issa, Darrell and William indicted for Grand Theft.
According to court records, on December 28, 1979, William Issa arrived at Smythe European Motors, in San Jose, and offered to sell Darrell’s car, a red 1976 Mercedes sedan. William was carrying an Ohio driver’s license with his brother’s name on it and the dealer gave William a check for sixteen thousand dollars, which he immediately cashed. Soon afterward, Darrell reported the car stolen from the Monterey airport. He later told the police that he had left the title in the trunk.
The brothers had been together in Cleveland for Christmas, and, after Darrell gave a series of conflicting statements about his brother and whether he himself had recently obtained a second driver’s license, the investigator in the case became suspicious that the two men had conspired to fraudulently sell Darrell’s car and then collect the insurance money.
The brothers were indicted for grand theft. Darrell argued that he had no knowledge of William’s activities; William claimed that his brother had authorized him to sell the car, and he produced a document dated a few weeks before the robbery that gave him power of attorney over his brother’s affairs. On February 15th, with the investigation ongoing, Darrell returned to the San Jose dealership and repurchased his car, for seventeen thousand dollars. In August, 1980, the prosecution dropped the case. Darrell insisted that he was a victim, not a criminal. William had produced evidence that he had the legal authority to sell the car, and the injured party was reimbursed.
Darrell Issa leaves the scene of a car accident he caused then settles out of court with victim.
Five months later, in January, 1981, at an intersection in Cleveland, Issa had further car troubles. He crashed a truck into a 1959 Thunderbird Classic driven by a forty-year-old woman named Juanita Martin. According to court documents, Issa told her that he did not have time to wait for the police and left the scene. Martin ended up in the emergency room the next day with neck and back pain that she said caused “permanent damage.” A month later, she sued Issa for twenty thousand dollars; they settled for an undisclosed amount.
Darrell Issa lends Steal Stopper $60K (where did the money come from?) then engages hostile takeover of Steal Stopper based on a late loan repayment.
Issa’s early business career was equally tumultuous. He started his car-alarm empire by acquiring the Steal Stopper brand in what was essentially a hostile takeover. A man named Joey B. Adkins owned the company, and Issa loaned him sixty thousand dollars. When Adkins was late on a payment, Issa went to court and foreclosed on the loan. Two days later, Adkins told me, Issa called and said that he wanted Adkins to come visit him at his new office. He gave Adkins the address of Steal Stopper. “I just took your company,” Adkins recalled him saying.
Darrell Issa fires Jack Frantz with a gun.
Once in control, Issa allegedly used an unusual method to fire Jack Frantz, an employee. Frantz told the Los Angeles Times that Issa came into his office, placed a box on the table, and opened it to reveal a gun. Issa told the paper, “Shots were never fired. If I asked Jack to leave, then I think I had every right to ask Jack to leave. . . . I don’t recall [having a gun]. I really don’t. I don’t think I ever pulled a gun on anyone in my life.”
Darrell Issa throws brother William Issa on the grenade, then under the bus, then whines about all his personal regrets.
On the substantive issues raised by court documents, Issa’s defense in most cases can be summarized in four words: “My brother did it.”
At one point, as he reflected on his past, Issa became a little emotional about his brother. “I admired my brother even when he was doing wrong,” he said. “I was always the kid at his ankles. Did he do wrong? Yes. Did he get caught? Yes. Did I ride around in cars with my brother that I had to know in good faith he hadn’t paid for? Yeah. Did I get caught? No. So did I have some youthful time when, although generally doing the right thing, I probably wasn’t as careful and honest and straightforward as I should be? Yeah. Do I regret that? Sure. To be honest, in spite of all the good things that have happened in my life, I regret not finishing high school before going in the Army, I regret a lot of things, where I go, ‘You know, I should’ve been in a hurry to succeed, not in a hurry to go outside the loop.’ And when you get to be fifty-seven it’s a lot easier to say, ‘I should’ve been in less of a hurry.’ But I was always in a hurry.”
Mr. Issa, where did the money to begin these businesses come from?
A few days after we met in Las Vegas, Issa called me. He was concerned about all my questions regarding his early life and didn’t see why they were newsworthy. The conversation was awkward. I told him that there was one more question I wanted him to answer: Where did you get the money for your start in business? The issue had stumped the insurance investigators, and William had, somewhat mysteriously, told me that his brother “would lend people money and get money back that way when he was in the service. He would buy and sell cars sometimes. He would get cars at a very good price, keep them, and sell them.”
There was a pause on the phone. “That’s sort of an amazing one to ask,” Issa said. He took a deep breath, and then carefully and patiently explained that, before he started at Quantum, he sold a BMW motorcycle and two cars—his Mercedes and his wife’s 1967 Volkswagen Bug. “We liquidated everything we could to raise money,” he said. He added that he also borrowed fifty thousand dollars from family members to make the first loan to Adkins. Issa seemed frustrated and exhausted. “Everyone,” he said, “has a past.”
Darrell Issa, a six-term California Republican, is the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform