On Thursday afternoon, FBI director Robert Mueller was called before the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions about the bureau's association with the recent scandals that have rocked the president's second term. He testified about the FBI investigation into the IRS targeting scandal as well as about the security at Benghazi and their delay in responding to the attack. Mueller stumbled through the interview, as he did not give many straight or definitive answers. In fact, he seemed to be remarkably uninformed about key elements regarding the scandals given the fact that he was supposed to be in charge of the entire operation.
Curiously, with such a significant development in these scandals, particularly the one pertaining to the IRS targeting, all of the broadcast networks’ evening newscasts neglected the story. NBC Nightly News along with CBS Evening News and ABC World News did not deem this progression in the scandal newsworthy as it was given collective total of no air time. The only network that gave this new development any time at all was the Fox News Channel. In fact one of the channel’s staple primetime shows, Hannity, featured the story as its leading piece and had a number of guests on the show to comment about the scandal and its lack of media coverage, including the founder of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell.
In his testimony, Mueller was asked several questions pertinent to the congressional investigation of the IRS scandal by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). They included queries as to the number of agents investigating the scandal and who was in charge of the investigation. Mueller, however, could not answer either question “at this juncture,” claiming that they were details of the investigation.
However, as Jordan pointed out, these were not questions that intruded into the specifics of the ongoing investigation; rather, they were merely “basic questions” about it. Such inquiries should be easy to answer if the director was actively involved in such an important investigation, as he should be. Unfortunately, this hearing proves that an adequate amount of care and concern are not being devoted to this scandal by the group that the American people have entrusted with the task.
Given the fact that this hearing provided such important insight into the oversight of the FBI probe, or lack thereof, into the IRS scandal among others, one must wonder why it was given such limited coverage. It is because the networks that ignored this development are all liberal-leaning media sources and this kind of testimony only serves to encumber their attempt to sweep these scandals under the rug and out of the public eye.
If such practices are allowed to continue, the investigation into these egregious scandals will continue to fade into oblivion because the public will no longer care. History proves time and again that the most effective way to affect change and reform in government is to allow the public to voice their outrage about the bureaucratic corruption through the press. The media must continue to cover these issues if we expect to see any change. Ceasing to cover the issues and scandals will simply embolden the government and give them license to continue in such abuses of power.
For reference, the transcript is provided below:
June 14, 2013
9:00 a.m. Eastern
SEAN HANNITY: Tonight, Washington is buzzing over the explosive testimony delivered this morning by outgoing FBI director Robert Muller. The nation's top investigator appeared before the House Judiciary Committee and was grilled about his bureau's connection to the many scandals that have rocked the Obama administration from the NSA spy controversy to the IRS enemies list, to the Benghazi cover-up. Nothing was off-limits at today's hearings. As usual, we’ve got you covered with all of the highlights, and we begin with one of the most heated exchanges of the day, and it happened when Congressman Jim Jordan questioned the director about the FBI’s alleged investigation into the IRS. Let's watch.
JIM JORDAN: Can you tell me how many agents, investigators, you have assigned to the case?
ROBERT MUELLER: May be able to do that, but I’d have to get back to you.
JORDAN: Can you tell me who the lead investigator is?
MUELLER: Off the top of my head, no.
JORDAN: This is the most important issue in front of the country in the last six weeks. You don't know who is heading up the case? Who the lead investigator is?
MUELLER: At this juncture, no.
JORDAN: So, you don't know who’s leading the case?
MUELLER: I do not know who is the lead agent.
JORDAN: Do you know if you’ve talked to any of the victims, have you talked to any of the groups who were targeted by their government. Have you met with any of the tea party folks since May 14, 2013?
MUELLER: I don't know what the status of the interviews are by the team that’s on it. You’re asking details of the investigation. I’d be happy to…
JORDAN: That is not a detail about the investigation. That took place prior to the investigation started.
MUELLER: May I please finish?
JORDAN: I'm asking basic questions about the investigation, like who’s heading it up, and you can't tell me that. You’ve had a month now to investigate. This has been the biggest story in the country, and you can't even tell me who the lead investigator is?
HANNITY: Alright, with answers like that, it does not appear we will get to the bottom of the IRS scandal any time soon.