Every so often a congressional committee holds a hearing with a “mystery witness,” a whistle-blowing employee or a criminal informant who testifies from behind a screen with no name provided. It’s great theatre and sometimes provides compelling evidence.
The House Administration Committee’s recent hearings on the “DISCLOSE Act” went the mystery route one better, including (or, perhaps more accurately, excluding) a mysteriously missing witness: anyone from the Federal Election Commission, the agency that would be charged with enforcing the proposed law.
Whether an oversight or a deliberate exclusion, the omission speaks volumes about the attitude and intention of the Committee’s unseemly rush to push DISCLOSE towards passage. Apparently the Committee isn’t really interested in a serious discussion about how the legislation would work, to whom it would apply, and whether its apparent effects really are intended.