Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) called out Darrell Issa today, and proved that President Obama was not involved in the IRS scandal by using transcripts that Issa refuses to fully release.
Transcript via CNN:
CROWLEY: That, of course, is the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sharing his thoughts last week about the IRS scandal. I am joined now by the committee’s top Democrat. He is Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland.
Congressman, I find myself in the same situation I was in last week with Congressman Issa and that is that you have provided me with excerpts from interviews that the committee has done and nobody will give me the whole transcript. What is the problem here with you giving me the whole transcript or Congressman Issa, because it does — in the end it kind of becomes everybody’s version of the truth.
CUMMINGS: Candy, I have asked Chairman Issa to release those transcripts to the public. I want every syllable of those transcripts to be released. He’s the chairman. Now, I can tell you, I understand that he agreed to release them a week ago. And, I guess you still haven’t gotten them based upon what you just said.
CROWLEY: I haven’t, but don’t you have them, too?
CUMMINGS: We have them, but again, let me be clear. I wrote Chairman Issa on Thursday and I wrote to him this morning, I want those transcripts to be released. But he’s the chairman of the committee. We’re not in power. Now, if he does not release them, I will. Period.
CUMMINGS: But again, I have to —
CROWLEY: Can we have a deadline?
CUMMINGS: I’m sorry.
CROWLEY: Can we have some date by which we could get them do you think?
CUMMINGS: Well, I will talk to the chairman again. I’ve written him and begged him to release the transcripts. I want them released. The only thing I would say is I do want redactions of names of some people who are employees (ph), but other than that, I think every syllable should be released. And, I can tell you, I’m willing to come on your show next week with the chairman with the transcripts if he agrees to do that. But if he doesn’t, I’ll release them by the end of the week.
CROWLEY: All right. We will check-in with both of you then. Let me now put up for our audience with the caveat that these are parts of an interview that you all had released to us. And this is a Cincinnati IRS manager of the screening group. So, in other words, the folks that were picking out Tea Party applications for tax exempt status. This is their boss in Cincinnati and some of the Q&A with Congressional investigators.
Question, “in your opinion, was it decision to screen and centralized the review of Tea Party cases the targeting of the president’s political enemies?” Answer, “I do not believe that the screening of these cases had anything to do other than consistency and identifying issues that needed to have further development.”
Question, “Do you have any reason to believe that anyone in the White House was involved in the decision to screen Tea Party cases?” Answer, “I have no reason to believe that.” In some ways, this is reminiscent to me of some of the things that Chairman Issa gave me, which is there’s really not a way that this manager could know whether there was White House involvement. So, this is their opinion.
But we still haven’t kind of gotten to the — the crux of the problem here, which is who wrote the BOLO, be on the look out for, that said look for Tea — you know, names of Tea Party or Patriot? Who wrote that?
CUMMINGS: OK. Let’s back up first, Candy. One of the things you did not say just now is that this man was the manager of the Cincinnati group that reviewed the exemption process.
CUMMINGS: Listen up now. He was a 21-year veteran of the IRS. And he was — 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 this interview and these statements go a long way to what’s showing that the White House was not involved in this. We knew that — and this is the guy by the way, this conservative 21-year veteran of IRS is the same one who sent the initial case, the Tea Party case, up to the Washington technical office.
It is time to apply a little common sense, and ask why the Democratic ranking member of Issa’s own committee wants these interview transcripts released? If there was anything bad in these interviews for the White House and President Obama, wouldn’t Issa have released them by now? The reality is that the IRS scandal will dry up and go away when the full transcripts are released. This is why Rep. Issa won’t release them.
As soon as the IRS scandal goes away, the Republican argument that the Obama White House is riddled with scandal and a “culture of corruption” will also vanish. Darrell Issa has been caught once again trying to cherry pick his way to Obama impeachment. Issa has the evidence that will disprove his own IRS/Obama conspiracy, so he refuses to release it.
When is the media going to stop giving airtime to Darrell Issa? He lied about Fast and Furious. He lied about Benghazi, and now he is lying about the IRS scandal. Last week, when Crowley pressed Issa for evidence to back up his claim that the White House directed the IRS scandal, he fell apart and called Jay Carney a paid liar.
Most of the media went with the paid liar headline, and ignored the fact that Issa couldn’t provide any proof that Obama was involved in the IRS scandal.
Rep. Cummings is calling out Issa, and demanding the full interview transcripts. It’s make or break time. If he fails to back up his allegations with evidence, the world will soon see that the real paid liar has always been Darrell Issa.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association