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. Silence DoGood

    "I have here in my hand a list of 205 . . . a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department. . . ."
    Joe McCarthy 1950

    March 7, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  2. Wake up People!

    I have no idea how anyone not making over $100,000 per year can support these clowns. No offense to clowns.

    They have done absolutely nothing in the past 5 years except obstruct, filibuster, vote to repeal laws, call names and whine. They're like a bunch of 5 year olds.

    First they come up with a game to slap Hillary, next it's a game to hit other elected dems. They want us to start a war with everyone and send our children to die while theirs get deferrals. They berate our POTUS every single chance they get and they even praise quasi-dictators over him. I don't know about anyone else but this truly depresses me that we're living in 2014 and people are behaving in such a despicable manner. I've never in my life seen so much disrespect and encouragement to disrespect the CIC.

    And this is supposed to be the party of family values......smh.

    March 7, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Kenman

    Three points:

    Issa was magnanimous, since Cummings was just wanting to make another political statement after the Democrat at the center of the IRS scandal refused once again to answer the committee's questions and Issa was rightly frustrated at their inability to get any answers from this administration.

    2nd: The Congressional Black Caucus should not have been the group to make a stink about this, as if there were some suggestion of racism!

    3rd: There should NOT BE a Congressional BLACK Caucus! What the hell!?
    --------------------
    1st: Issa flagrantly broke the rules. Period. If Issa did not want to hear what Cummings wanted to say, then he should have never conducted the hearing in the first place. The minority party has a right to speak. Period.

    2nd: I believe that Cummings is one of the highest ranking members of the CBC, if not the highest. This was something personal that Cummings had apparently wanted to do. Furthermore, while the CBC may have taken the lead, the entire Democratic House Caucus stood behind them, literally, on the floor of the House as statements were made.

    3rd: If people can have an Italian, a Jewish, or even a Ukrainian caucus, why not a black caucus? Most blacks in this country do not even know their official "country" of origin. Most black Americans have ancestors that have been in North America since the 1600s. Most did not even come from a country as much as they came from a tribe, or a region. If you have a problem with a "black caucus", then that's most unfortunate for you.

    March 7, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. NamePetrus

    They could have finished it Singapore style with fists flying, till then, they won't have any respect for each other.

    March 7, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. voncile

    I applaud Congressman Issa's apology. He is keeping the spotlight on Lerner, where it should be.
    The Democrat tactics of causing a diversion, a 'look over here' ploy, did not work this time!!

    March 7, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    DM4O wrote:

    No that isn't the real story.
    See the headline?
    THIS story is about how Issa flipped off a Congressman aborting and ignoring all rules in Congress.
    I believe that what he did was a first.
    Republicans making history.....
    --------------------
    Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the chair of a congressional committee has switched off the microphone of the minority party during the course of a public hearing. The most recent incident was committed by Issa this past December. I think it during a Benghazi hearing. Issa is running so many of them, just like he promised he would, all at the same time that it's hard to keep track of them.

    March 7, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  7. Thomas

    Ted Cruz / Darrell Issa

    Joe McCarthy

    March 7, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. voncile

    To all that are skewering Congressman Issa, how about just answering one question.
    If Lerner has nothing to hide, why doesn't she just answer the questions from both Issa and Cummings?
    What's that you say? You guys just want to 'plead the fifth'? Hummm, I see!! Okay!!

    March 7, 2014 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  9. wendel

    crook and jerk two words that come to mind. Only the right shall be heard. That is the main goal of this congress. That and bashing the president and voting for healthcare repeal over and over and over and over . wasting tax payers money vote them all out.

    March 7, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. Wake up People!

    Why is it never mentioned that Lois Lerner is a republican appointed by Bush??? Can someone answer ME that question?

    March 7, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    voncile

    To all that are skewering Congressman Issa, how about just answering one question.
    If Lerner has nothing to hide, why doesn't she just answer the questions from both Issa and Cummings?
    --------------------
    Only a complete and utter fool would answer any of Issa's questions. It's obvious that Issa has nothing, which is why he's recently referred to the Lerner hearing as a "fact finding" session. That means "witch hunt" in my book.

    March 7, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. MTATL67

    How dare you. It's the Darrell Issa 'Political Theater Hour' y'all are just guests. He's the Diva here.

    March 7, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. Malory Archer

    Wake up People!

    I have no idea how anyone not making over $100,000 per year can support these clowns. No offense to clowns.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    My husband & I make over $100k a year, and there's NO WAY IN HOCKEY STICKS we'd support these clowns (no offense to clowns).

    March 7, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "If Lerner has nothing to hide, why doesn't she just answer the questions from both Issa and Cummings?"
    ----------------------------–
    You've missed the entire point. She didn't answer any of Cummings' questions because Issa adjourned the hearing before Cummings even said his first word. Issa didn't want Cummings to ask her any questions because Issa feared the answers.

    March 7, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. Al-NY,NY

    voncile

    To all that are skewering Congressman Issa, how about just answering one question.
    If Lerner has nothing to hide, why doesn't she just answer the questions from both Issa and Cummings?
    What's that you say? You guys just want to 'plead the fifth'? Hummm, I see!! Okay!!
    ---–

    so I guess the two minions of governer BBQ in NJ taking the fifth in THAT investigation is OK...they are doing that you know??

    March 7, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. VotingBLKAmerican (yes were alive)

    Right, 'tries to clear the air', how about Issa is yet another repuk CROOK who should be FIRED FIRED FIRED for his dictatorship style of 'leadership'. It's disgusting to see what the repuks in House have given American's. It's really sad.

    March 7, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    WUP asked

    Why is it never mentioned that Lois Lerner is a republican appointed by Bush??? Can someone answer ME that question?
    --------------------–
    I don't have a problem with it. I say give the presumptous conspiracy theorists some rope. Let them make fools of themselves by accusing Lerner of being a liberal hack for the Obama administration.

    March 7, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. The REAL TRUTH...

    @voncile

    To all that are skewering Congressman Issa, how about just answering one question.
    If Lerner has nothing to hide, why doesn't she just answer the questions from both Issa and Cummings?
    ---------------------------
    So you're saying it's OK to trample someone's Constitution rights when it's convenient? Isn't that exactly what the hypocritical right is claiming the Obama administration is doing to theirs??? You can't have it both ways.
    Besides, taking the 5th does not mean you are guilty of anything.
    If you want guilt, how about the dog and pony show Issa was conducting, going on public TV on Sun am claiming LL was going to speak/testify, when her lawyer had already stated she wasn't going to change anything. CLEAR violation of rules..
    So answer me this one question....why won't he let the GOP IRS employee who initiated the targeting testify?
    is Issa really looking for the truth, or looking to nail the POTUS? So far he's batting 0 -13 on his investigations. What does that imply?

    March 7, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Wake up People!

    Ok Rudy, I guess you're right but it really would be nice to see fair and unbiased reporting.........

    March 7, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC
    Turning off the mike was not a first but I do believe that closing the meeting without allowing the congressman equal time was.
    Can you set me straight on that Rudy?
    I am still scratching my head trying to figure out how he could still be in Congress much less be chair of anything based on what I have heard he's done.
    I'm going straight to a search engine because quite frankly it is baffling to me.

    March 7, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    The REAL TRUTH... wrote:

    "To all that are skewering Congressman Issa, how about just answering one question.
    If Lerner has nothing to hide, why doesn't she just answer the questions from both Issa and Cummings?"

    So you're saying it's OK to trample someone's Constitution rights when it's convenient?
    -------------------
    No, that's not what they're saying. Read closely. Someone is trying to rewrite the facts by suggesting that Lerner plead the 5th to Cummings. They're manufacturing an argument about something that never happened. Happens a lot around here.

    March 7, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  22. Wake up People!

    Good one Mallory!!!

    March 7, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wake up People!

    Why is it never mentioned that Lois Lerner is a republican appointed by Bush??? Can someone answer ME that question?
    -------------------------------------------------
    ROFLMAO!!!!
    Tell 'em Wake up!
    What the hell is up with that?!!
    LOL!!!
    Seriously, you know why.
    It stirs up the pot.
    Remember, we aptly refer to this day of the week here on CNN as Red Meat Fridays.

    March 7, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. Searcher01

    Darryl Issa is a TEAGOP HITMAN who doesn't care about anyone but himself. He brought down the California Governor so he could get the job, but Arnold Schwarzenegger killed that plan. He is a GOP TERRORIST....

    March 7, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. Wake up People!

    Yeah you're right DM. Nothing gets em going like a little red meat Fridays.... And Fox-lite served em up well this a.m.

    March 7, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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