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. TSRVT

    Issa is nothing but a cancer. Period.

    March 7, 2014 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  2. griffbos

    sorry but Issa should lose his chair for such actions..

    March 7, 2014 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  3. New Joisey Guy

    Issa should be gone.

    March 7, 2014 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  4. Mrs Willis

    "Things fall apart."

    March 7, 2014 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  5. Hotdog

    An empty apology does not clear the air. The interest of the American people are not being met because of partisan politics and blatant racial discrimination that is constantly demonstrated by our elected officials. D. Issa's actions were unacceptable with regards to this specific incident and the only good thing that about it was that it was caught on camera.

    March 7, 2014 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  6. Brad

    Issa is a day late and a dollar short.

    March 7, 2014 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  7. Robert Sands

    The Apology will only be significant if Issa changes his methods. I doubt that will be happening.

    March 7, 2014 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  8. MrRickinNH

    He's sorry alright... a sorry excuse for a legislator!

    March 7, 2014 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  9. waterboard

    Like most GOP politicians Issa is so consumed with the BPOTUS he can't function rationally.

    March 7, 2014 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  10. longball9

    I have voted Republican my whole life, but Rep Issa's actions have made me want to NEVER vote for a Republican again.

    March 7, 2014 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  11. mark

    Issa is a Loser, but then again all members of the GOP are losers!

    March 7, 2014 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  12. Marie MD

    Off with his seat California!!!

    March 7, 2014 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  13. sandy sneden

    Seems like someone is afraid a losing some votes – as well he should. This kind of conduct shows what kid of guy he really is. No class. Shame on him.

    March 7, 2014 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  14. DukeWellington

    One only pleads the fifth for the reason stated in the pleading. It's not a witch hunt when all the witches say, "Hey, if I tell you anything about what I did on the job, I'll be guilty." CNN, please investigate and report the real story, because it is of paramount importance if the IRS is used as a political arm. Although I appreciate this story about drama between politicians, there should be a lot more real investigation in to the actual story. If the free press fails us, we are doomed to not trusting any path of information.

    March 7, 2014 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  15. "irritated"

    Good Grief!! Now they're fighting and can't produce a fair and just inquiry? How very rude of Chairman Issa to even think he should take a stand like that.....he forgot his true responsibilities in his capacity and I don't believe for a MOMENT that he takes responsibility for his CHILDISH, unjust and unfair actions......,

    March 7, 2014 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  16. snowdogg

    "As chairman, I should have been much more sensitive"

    Period

    March 7, 2014 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  17. Samuel Wyndham

    This man should not be in control of any hearing.
    Poor control of his ability to get along with others.

    Sam Wyndham

    March 7, 2014 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  18. Paul

    Slander, Mr. Issa? Being called out on not willing to hear the other side of the story? In the American system of justice both sides get to present evidence. Your history of limiting evidence to those 'facts' you alone seem to qualify for judgment against the accused brings into doubt your ability to be fair minded.

    March 7, 2014 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  19. DN

    Still a very disrespectful thing to do. Doesn't leave a good feeling about Issa's true character.

    March 7, 2014 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  20. Mike B

    Bill O'reilly suggested on his program that Lois Lerner should just answer questions calmly and rationally. She probably feels ( as I do ), that her chances of doing that with chairman Issa in charge are between zero and none. As long as Issa wants to express his inner Joe McCarthy no one in their right mind would testify before him. If he treats members of his own committee this way, imagine how he would treat a witness who dared give answers which he did not want to hear..

    March 7, 2014 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  21. livingston

    Not much of an apology if you ask me. He's sorry his un-American actions were caught on film, not that he did it.

    March 7, 2014 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  22. Zach

    How dare you disagree with me! How dare you use facts! We are angry here and we want to blame the president! RABBLE RABBLE! We've already decided he is guilty, let us just find a way to make people believe it!
    – Oh the dumbing down of the country extends to Congress too....

    March 7, 2014 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  23. Really?

    Keep in mind that this never would have happened if Obama didn't illegally use the IRS to manipulate the election. Wonder what information Lerner can give that would incriminate her?

    March 7, 2014 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  24. Beatlearl

    If the Dems get control of the house again I hope they have the spine to treat these GOP baggers the same way they are being treated.

    March 7, 2014 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  25. Polar Bear

    Apologizing to that uncivilized, ranting, barely literate, embarrassing excuse of Representative?! Bizzare.

    March 7, 2014 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
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