Issa tries to ‘clear the air’ with Rep. Cummings
March 6th, 2014
11:42 PM ET
8 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."

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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. traffikator


    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!!"

    Well vonimbecile, how on earth did she ever get to plea for something not in our constitution and get away with it? For all you know Issa should now open a hearing into this plea of the 5th and anyone who should use such prehistoric, un-American, communist language should be investigated further and throw in jail. I say the next phase of the investigation is Where did she get this 5th Ammendment from? Is she the only one to use it? If she should not use it, then we should get rid of it? Did you ask the same questions of those in the bridgegate scandal who is even claiming they will not speak to the FEDS??? If you had been paying attention to Issa, how can you truly and honestly support such an 1d!0t who has wasted time and money and not accomplished anything? Would you continue paying someone to work for you who did not produce? Yes, that is why you continue to support Republicans!

    March 7, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    tom l

    Pretty ironic to hear dems whining and crying about cutting off the minority's opportunity to speak and have their say while Harry Reid has done just that in the senate.
    And I'm sure that if that occurred you were all over that tom l.
    You do know that I am not a Dem right?

    March 7, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Quixote

    Issa is a petty vindictive stooge. A perfect example of the republican party today.

    March 7, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. penguin

    Issa only wants to point out that the IRS overly scrutinized Republican groups for tax exemption while ignoring the fact that the IRS also overly scrutinized Democratic groups. More Republican leaning groups were scrutinized because there are many more Republican leaning groups. It means nothing to Issa that most groups actually denied tax exempt status were Democratic. Half truths are the hallmark of the Republican party (and Fox News)

    March 7, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. jdalco

    give her immunity and make her talk. . . take away any reason to take the 5th. . . she is hiding something that is obvious

    March 7, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
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