Issa tries to ‘clear the air’ with Rep. Cummings
March 6th, 2014
11:42 PM ET
6 years ago

Issa tries to ‘clear the air’ with Rep. Cummings

One day after cutting off his Democratic counterpart's microphone, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa telephoned ranking member Elijah Cummings and apologized.

Issa tweeted Thursday evening, "I just wanted to clear the air with @RepCummings." The tweet included a link to a U-T San Diego article in which Issa says he had personally apologized to Cummings.

"I could have offered to reopen the hearing and allowed (Cummings) to make a second statement," Issa told the California paper. "As chairman, I should have been much more sensitive to the mood of what was going on, and I take responsibility."


Issa's apology came hours after the Congressional Black Caucus offered a resolution condemning Issa’s conduct and forced the full House of Representatives to vote on the motion. It was tabled by a 211-186 vote that split down partisan lines.

In response, the Maryland congressman's office released a statement saying he accepted Issa's apology.

"My sincere hope is that as we move forward, we will respect the opinions of all members of the committee, we will proceed in a deliberate and considered manner to obtain the facts, we will refrain from making accusations that have no basis in fact, and we will seek resolution rather than unnecessary conflict," the statement read.

The argument between the two grabbed headlines Wednesday and shifted the spotlight during a hearing that was meant to focus on IRS targeting of conservative groups.Issa called the hearing to again question former IRS manager Lois Lerner and determine if she would answer the committee's questions or again invoke her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

After Issa repeatedly questioned Lerner and she consistently responded by invoking her Fifth Amendment rights, Issa said he was adjourning the hearing. Cumming immediately asked to give a statement and ask a question but Issa told him statements would not be allowed and within minutes had Cummings microphone turned off.

"I am tired of this," Cummings said, visibly upset. "You cannot just have a one-sided investigation. There is absolutely something wrong with that. And it is absolutely un-American."

Issa defended his actions at the time.

"He was talking into a mic in an adjourned meeting. The fact is Mr. Cummings came to make a point of his objections to the process we'd been going through. He was, he was actually slandering me at the moment that the mics did go off by claiming that this had not been a real investigation," he said Wednesday.

However, according to the U-T San Diego report, Issa said that he and Cummings spoke about how they could "do a better job going forward."

– CNN's Lisa Desjardins and Halimah Abdullah contributed to this report.

soundoff (205 Responses)
  1. Michael

    No surprise either that a not so flattering comment about a Republican requires "moderation" before it is posted, assuming it is ever posted. Whereas, the other side could call President Obama everything but a child of God, and those comments sail right on through.

    March 7, 2014 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  2. Robyn

    Mr. Issa's ethical and criminal violations regarding illegal payoffs to AIG during the financial crisis he helped
    to orchestrate during the Great Recession make him a strange choice to try to question anyone's honor.

    But with his long history of attacking the 9/11 first responders in the New York City Fire Department.
    I suppose there is simply no decency or humanity to be found in this small fraction of a human being.

    March 7, 2014 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  3. Kathie

    Oh Pooh! : ( somebody's feelings got hurt : ( ... I mean REALLY? Who cares?

    March 7, 2014 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  4. mkaipo

    Issa's always been a jerk

    March 7, 2014 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  5. Ed

    Was Issa always a bully or just since he's been in Congress.

    March 7, 2014 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  6. Tommy Denton

    So Issa doesnt care about America or fairness .. easy he should be impeached. And any other member of the failed republican led house that has decided to give up on America.

    March 7, 2014 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  7. runner305

    Issa apologizes just to save his rear. How noble of him!

    March 7, 2014 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  8. Craig

    Issa hasn't taken responsibility for anything, and that includes this time. He only mouthed the words because the public outrage actually started to get loud enough he could no longer ignore it. If he was sorry for anything it's that all his phony scandals have turned up exactly zero, and he's got nothing to show for all the dollars he's wasted trying to smear the President. But, never fear! He'll be back with Benghazi XLIII in no time, completely with some new witness who's willing to lie to gain his 15 minutes of fame. Worse, the usual people will fall for it.

    March 7, 2014 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  9. gg

    Issa is a political hack. What an embarrassment to our democracy.

    March 7, 2014 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  10. Steve

    Issa thinks he's Putin!

    March 7, 2014 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  11. JJ

    Why doesn't this former IRS lady just simply tell the truth ; then we can all move on and avoid this nonsense?

    March 7, 2014 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  12. dave

    If there isn't a smidgen of wrong doing, why does she continually take the 5th?

    March 7, 2014 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  13. Richard Mitchell

    Issa isn't a man, he is just a puppet, having sold his soul to the highest bidder. He is suppose to be representing the people from his district not the 1% that pay him under the table for his obstructive vote.

    March 7, 2014 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  14. Just

    Government officials pleading the 5th means absolute guilt. They should not be afforded this right as public officials.

    March 7, 2014 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  15. David

    More deflection and distraction by the Dems. The real issue here is the failure of the head of this division of the IRS to testify.

    March 7, 2014 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
  16. Mike

    Holy Cow! CNN finally covered the story of Louis Lerner taking the 5th for the second time!

    March 7, 2014 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  17. Mysticlady

    Incredible display of arrogance & disrespect towards a veteran civil rights hero, a legislator who has served longer than Issa. Shocking, but obnoxiously Republican.

    March 7, 2014 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  18. Maripil

    Darrel Issa is a THUG plain and simple!! He is an embarrassment !!

    March 7, 2014 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  19. Maripil

    Issa must resign from his chairmanship as he has been constantly on a fishing expedition on his investigations!

    March 7, 2014 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  20. Maripil

    The GOP congress is a do-nothing congress! SHAME on the republicans as these people are thugs and bullies!!

    March 7, 2014 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  21. Maripil

    Issa is so in the wrong! He is a thug and a bully!

    March 7, 2014 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  22. SoMuchNonsense

    Issa is a horrible human being, and we are so lucky he has $500,000,000 to buy his elections with. But don't worry veterans, he's got your backs cause he sponsors a pancake breakfast (yes, let them eat bread) every election cycle so he can put up the pictures on his website and claim he cares.

    March 7, 2014 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  23. Maripil

    Issa's actions is unacceptable. He must resign the chairmanship as he is an embarrassment!

    March 7, 2014 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  24. Randal

    This gets a headline, but Lerner pleading the 5th repeatedly not hardly mentioned by CNN. Where have all the good investigative journalists gone.

    March 7, 2014 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  25. Ant

    This is what mature congreeman must do if this country is going come together. Accept responsibility, apologize if warnted, and move on to the countries business.

    March 7, 2014 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
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