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The “Grim Reaper” of the American political scene, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is set to retire after 30 years in Congress.
The former Marine Corps prosecutor, who once was a star in the FBI’s elite field office in Alexandria, Virginia, is a polarizing figure who is known to fight any and all challenges and has been a thorn in the eye of the GOP for years.
Rep. Darrell Issa
Issa has been a thorn in the eye of the American electorate for decades, and that is for a number of reasons.
The lawmaker’s political career began with one of the most famous scandals in recent political history and one that is still remembered today.
When former Congressman Bob Livingston, who was Issa’s former boss, was charged with “falsely, knowingly and fraudulently representing himself” as a federal agent, Issa was assigned as the top investigator to handle the case.
At the time of the allegations, Issa, according to documents in the case, “knew that Livingston was a convicted felon who had served time in prison for a firearms offense and that he was not a federal employee.”
Issa’s investigation went on for more than two years and was eventually terminated.
As a result of the Livingston case, lawmakers began to question Issa’s loyalty to the president with the Watergate scandal of the Nixon administration coming into the spotlight.
The former Marine Corps prosecutor was able to show the public that he was a tough prosecutor and not an easy target.
He won bipartisan support for his efforts, even from people who previously had little to no respect for him, thanks to his work.
Now, after a career built on being a “grim reaper,” his last days in Congress will not only be filled with controversy, but also with the challenges of becoming a national hero.
How it will be done or if it will be done at all is to be seen soon, but Issa’s retirement does bring about the change many have sought—the removal of two long-serving members of Congress