Rep. Issa: Cummings ‘Was Simply Endlessly Slandering the Efforts of the Committee’
House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) went “On the Record” tonight to discuss today’s IRS hearing and the blow-up with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).
Former IRS official Lois Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment repeatedly in response to Issa’s questions about her emails.
Issa said the IRS has failed to supply all of her emails despite a subpoena, but the emails that the committee has obtained show a possible motive that stems from the Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United ruling.
“It appears from the emails that Lois Lerner specifically felt that whoever they are, they were pressuring the IRS to fix what the FEC, her former employer, couldn’t fix after Citizens United, a court case that the president once shook his finger at the U.S. Supreme Court in the House, in the well of the House, because he didn’t like [it],” Issa said.
Issa said the committee will consider holding Lerner in contempt.
The chairman also discussed his blow-up with Cummings, which occurred after Issa adjourned the meeting. Issa said that if Cummings had wanted to make a motion before he adjourned, he would have accepted it. Instead, Cummings said he had a question after the hearing had been adjourned and then proceeded to criticize Issa for conducting a "one-sided" and "un-American" investigation.
“He didn’t have a question,” Issa said. “He was simply endlessly slandering the efforts of the committee.”
Cummings today spoke to Griff Jenkins about Issa cutting his microphone after the hearing.
“I thought it was extremely unfortunate,” he said. “That is just not the way a democracy runs. This is still America and I would fight for his right to say what he had to say for the Republican side, I would fight for the right of Tea Partiers because I believe in this democracy. I believe that when you have members on the Democratic side and members on the Republican side, they should have their say. You can’t have a hearing without hearing one syllable from the other side.”
Of the IRS scandal, Cummings said, “To date, I have not seen any evidence that shows where this was politically motivated or that the White House had anything to do with it, but yet and still those assertions are being made by Republicans. I’ve said it over and over again – all I want is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You cannot have a fair investigation where you only present evidence that you like and exclude evidence that you don’t like.”
Issa told Greta Van Susteren that the committee has never said that evidence leads to the president – he said it leads to Lerner.
Watch the video above for more from Issa and Cummings.
Read more on the IRS scandal...