Cummings calls Issa’s IRS bluff: ‘I’ll release’ transcripts clearing White House if he doesn’t
House Oversight Committee ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings on Sunday said that the so-called scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) targeting of tea party groups was “solved,” but Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has refused to release the testimony of a “conservative Republican” IRS manager because it indicated that the White House was not involved.
Last week, Issa had told CNN host Candy Crowley that IRS agents “were directly being ordered from Washington,” but he declined to produce complete transcripts of the testimony of IRS employees to back up his claims.
On Sunday, Cummings explained to Crowley that he had “begged” Issa to release the full transcripts.
“He’s the chairman of the committee, we’re not in power,” the Maryland Democrat pointed out. “If he does not release them, I will. Period.”
“I’m willing to come on your show next week with the chairman, with the transcripts, if he agrees to do that,” he added. “But if he doesn’t, I’ll release them by the end of the week.”
Crowley observed that in a portion of the transcripts that had been released, an IRS screening group manager in the Cincinnati office told Issa’s committee that he had “no reason to believe” that the White House had ordered the targeting of conservative groups.
“He was a 21-year veteran,” Cummings said of the IRS manager. “He described himself in the interviews in response to a Republican attorney’s question as a conservative Republican. Very significant. He is a conservative Republican working for the IRS. I think these interviews and these statements go a long way to showing the White House was not involved in this.”
“Based upon everything I’ve seen, the case is solved. And if it were me, I would wrap this case up and move on.”
Watch this CNN’s State of the Union, broadcast June 9, 2013.
(h/t: Think Progress)