Home > General > Darrell Issa: One rude dude shuts off Rep. Cummings’ mic

Darrell Issa: One rude dude shuts off Rep. Cummings’ mic

March 6th, 2014

Huffingtonpost.com:

WASHINGTON — A congressional hearing into the furor over political targeting by the Internal Revenue Service descended into political theater of the absurd Wednesday, as the former IRS official at the heart of the case again asserted her Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer questions.

Lois Lerner, the former director of Tax-Exempt Organizations for the IRS, led the division that oversaw the staffers responsible for making sure that so-called social welfare groups were not going out of bounds with their political activities.

Although her unit did target some progressive groups, the majority of those that faced extra scrutiny were linked to the tea party, sparking cries of scandal and political intimidation from conservatives.

Lerner refused once before to answer questions from House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), but after she invoked her right to not incriminate herself several times on Wednesday, Issa summarily gaveled the hearing to close, sparking an angry outburst from the top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).

Cummings was incensed that after Issa asked a series of apparently damning questions, Cummings and his fellow Democrats were not allowed to respond, even to ask a procedural question.

“We’re adjourned. Close it down,” Issa said.

“I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America. I am tired of this!” Cummings fumed, with his mic turned off. “You cannot just have a one-sided investigation. There is something absolutely wrong with that. It is absolutely un-American.”

“I gave you an opportunity to ask a question, you had no question,” Issa responded, even as Cummings was insisting he had a question.

Cummings, speaking after Issa had told staffers to shut things down, suggested Issa did not want to hear from the other side.

“Chairman, what are you hiding?,” Cummings said.

That prompted a tart jibe from Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). “He’s taking the Fifth, Elijah,” Connolly said.

Why is Issa always so aggressive and rude?  Rep. Cummings has  every right to be outraged.  Issa operates like a one man show.

Meanwhile, I am tired of hearing the whining over the IRS.  I  believe just about anyone can skirt around the IRS rules just by setting out some coloring books for the kiddies.  I am glad to see them investigating all of the 501′s.

From Huffington Post:

UPDATE: 3:00 p.m. EST — Issa said later that he cut Cummings off because Cummings was not “directing questions toward the witness and the committee had already adjourned.” He added that the hearing was only held to determine whether Lerner would give testimony, and since she would not “there was no question before us.”

“I left, because there was no question pending,” Issa told reporters outside the hearing room, adding that Cummings was “slandering me at the moment the mics did go off by claiming that this had not been a real investigation.”

More reading on the subject at Politico.com

 

 

Categories: General Tags:
  1. Confused
    March 6th, 2014 at 04:56 | #1

    Issa KNEW that Lerner was going to take the 5th before the hearing started. His staff had asked her attorney if the attorney would be willing to proffer her testimony. When that happens in Congress, the witness is usually given immunity. Issa refused the proffer and went on a 12 minute excursion to put his position in the public sphere knowing that Lerner would not contradict him. He then ended the hearing so that Rep. Cummings and others could not point that out. THAT is what he was hiding. It was a despicable abuse of power.

  2. Scout
    March 6th, 2014 at 07:29 | #2

    Issa is there to run some sort of street theatre that has as its premise that the Obama Administration, perhaps even the President himself, was using the IRS to suppress the Tea Party. Cummings wasn’t a member of the cast of that show. Issa had to gag him or the whole entertainment would have been compromised.

  3. Kelly_3406
    March 6th, 2014 at 07:42 | #3

    The Administration used the power of the IRS to shutdown opposition during a presidential election. The available facts support this narrative. If that’s not what happened, then the Administration needs to be open and transparent to demonstrate why and how the targeting of conservative groups was legal and ethical. If the IRS was acting legally, then we need to understand why Lerner decided to take the Fifth.

    Elijah Cummings was just a diversion to change the headline to discuss Issa rather than the IRS. The diversionary tactic play book calls for angry outburst at an “injustice” to give reporters a sound bite. Committee chairmen controlling access to microphones in the House has a long, bipartisan history. So this is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Hillary had an angry “outburst” when she was questioned about Benghazi. The compliant media always plays along.

    • March 6th, 2014 at 09:39 | #4

      Actually there is no proof whatsoever that the administration used the power of the IRS. That is pure BS and any available facts are found on some electronic rag like Brietbart. What do you say about the progressive groups who got delayed or denied? Same administration?

      It all goes back to the Citizens United court decision.

  4. Pat.Herve
    March 6th, 2014 at 09:18 | #5

    Issa was very much in the wrong in that he opened up a hearing and did not allow any other member to comment – allowing the Ranking Member to have opening remarks (after the chairman) is customary and Issa adjourned the hearing before giving the opportunity for another member to add any comments. Issa has several accusations of intimidation in his background, so I expect this out of him.

    WRT the IRS probes – I do not know who asked for the extra scrutiny, but extra scrutiny is needed for these tax exempt organizations, as many of them are just fronts for political operations and should not be tax exempt. Not one of the groups were stifled from speaking their points or prevented from performing their mission. I am a board member of a non political 501c6 organization that has recently been denied tax exempt status – it has not stopped us from pursuing out very non political efforts (our only political efforts is lobbying for our mission) – while we appeal that decision – and we have still not paid taxes.

    Should an organization like the Heritage Foundation be a tax exempt organization? Should contributions to them be tax deductible?

  5. March 6th, 2014 at 10:18 | #6

    Citizens United changed the landscape of what constitutes a “non profit” Kelly. It’s that simple. The worst the IRS can probably be accused of is institutional laziness. Why were conservative groups the largest “target”? It isn’t rocket science. Because it was Obama running for office and the very fabric of our nation was in peril……..so all good patriots had to save America by starting their own 501(c)3

    Well, this was a new ruling with a lot of confusion on both sides.

    But lets get back to common decency as the actual topic shall we? Issa behaved like a jackass and Elijah Cummings, who has given more to freedom in this country than Issa has in the tip of his teeny weeny, well, “pinkie” finger, put him in his place. I hope Issa is embarrassed but unfortunately I doubt he has the common sense to know any better.

  6. March 6th, 2014 at 18:04 | #8

    If the IRS wasn’t doing anything illegal…then why take the Fifth…AND have her lawyers state that she cannot testify because her life is in danger if she does? The IRS has already admitted that they were improperly targeting conservative groups. The investigation is to discover who told them to do that.

  7. middleman
    March 6th, 2014 at 18:07 | #10

    As I’ve said here before, Issa is the new Joe McCarthy. He is redefining the term bias. He regularly finds people guilty in the press BEFORE he holds a hearing. He withholds information from the minority party. He has made proven erroneous statements on “Fast and Furious,” Benghazi, and the IRS issue, among others. He’s a one-man campaign ad for the Democrats.

    Kelly, I’d love to see your “facts” showing that the Obama administration was involved politically with the IRS. As to Lerner, I’d take the 5th too in this kangaroo court. What a shame that our congress has again devolved to this. Joe McCarthy and his sidekick Richard Nixon would truly be proud.

  8. punchak
    March 6th, 2014 at 18:58 | #12

    @middleman
    AMEN !
    Just for fun, you should check the checkered past of Issa.

  9. Wolverine
    March 6th, 2014 at 19:38 | #13

    Ha! Diversion, diversion, diversion. Any liberal scramble just to avoid the real issue. The appointed diversion maker got his mike cut off before he could recite his script for the media. Boo hoo.

  10. Confused
    March 6th, 2014 at 19:42 | #14

    Wolverine :
    Ha! Diversion, diversion, diversion. Any liberal scramble just to avoid the real issue. The appointed diversion maker got his mike cut off before he could recite his script for the media. Boo hoo.

    Really????? Had Issa not done what he did, most likely the story would have been how Lerner is still avoiding testimony (not saying she is, just that would be the story) instead of how Issa broke all rules of protocol.

    So how exactly is that a liberal scramble to avoid the real issue? Was President Obama controlling Rep. Issa’s brain through the NSA to make him act like an ass or does it just come naturally?

    • March 6th, 2014 at 21:26 | #15

      Bwaaahahahahahahahahahahaha!! Confused, that was my best laugh of the day. Thank you!!!!

  11. Cato the Elder
    March 6th, 2014 at 19:54 | #16

    Isaac acted appropriately. The hearing was over, so shutting off the mic of a democrat slimeball popping off in defense of other democrat slimeballs (who quite possibly engaged in criminal activity) was proper.

    If there’s this much caterwauling over Issa being mean to poor little Elijah, just wait until we take over the Senate committees next year. Investigate, investigate, investigate. Or wait until this puckered Lerner woman gets sent to the federal booty house for the next ten years to explore alternative lifestyles with a large redneck named Bertha.

    The tears will be delicious.

  12. Confused
    March 6th, 2014 at 19:56 | #17

    Cato the Elder :
    … democrat slimeball popping off in defense of other democrat slimeballs (who quite possibly engaged in criminal activity) was proper.
    … Issa being mean to poor little Elijah, … puckered Lerner woman gets sent to the federal booty house for the next ten years to explore alternative lifestyles with a large redneck named Bertha.
    The tears will be delicious.

    Wow … troll much?

  13. Wolverine
    March 6th, 2014 at 20:17 | #18

    The Dems got shut off in a committee meeting. Tough taters. Pelosi arranged for Cummings to be the ranking member because she knew it would be tough to counter Issa in investigations and she apparently thought others did not have what it took. Well, this Dem propaganda gambit against Issa didn’t work out as planned. Cummings got his head handed to him and looked like a fool continuing to grouse and grumble without a mike. If Cummings still wants to recite his prepared complaint, all he has to do is snap his fingers and a part of the MSM plus Salon will come running to rebroadcast it. And I see Pelosi and her crowd have done just that and are all weeping crocodile tears right on schedule about Issa. Quit complaining. The nation will survive without one more scripted diatribe by Cummings.

    • March 6th, 2014 at 21:28 | #19

      I find it strange that anyone would think that Darrell Issa is anything but a bully and an ass. Sorry, just calling it as I see it.

  14. blue
    March 6th, 2014 at 20:24 | #20

    Take th 5th , take the 5th and take the 5th. Hmmm, government lawyers would be at her table if they though she was acting in accordance with law – you cannot hold a bureaucrate liable for legal actions taken regardless of the consequences – but she has a personal lawyer – only. And they have the e-mails — well some of them. What is a democrat to do except attack the messenger – er – investigation?

  15. Confused
    March 6th, 2014 at 20:45 | #21

    blue – I don’t follow. It seems like you are saying that if her actions were legal, then the government would have provided representation, but because the government does not believe her actions (whatever they were) were legal, she retained outside counsel? If that’s what you’re saying (just want to make sure I get it right), then I have no problem with the statement.

    But in the second part of your post, you say that the Democrats attack the messenger. If the government (in this case, the Administration?) felt that Lerner was acting outside the legal scope of her responsibilities, and therefore did not provide her representation, why would the Democrats in Congress bother to “attack the messenger” (whom I think you mean – Issa)?

  16. blue
    March 6th, 2014 at 21:35 | #22

    @Confused

    Politics .

  17. Wolverine
    March 6th, 2014 at 21:45 | #23

    Fortunes of war, wot, wot?

    If Issa is a “bully and an ass,” what must one say about old Henry Waxman, who is doing the country a favor by retiring this year? Already a scramble in West LA and Santa Monica for that seat.

    • March 7th, 2014 at 02:22 | #24

      Waxman wasn’t involved. Why are you discussing him. But we aren’t talking about Waxman. We are talking about Issa and his misbehavior. Why can’t we discuss Issa on his own merits rather than use that old deflector method of bringing up someone else?

  18. March 7th, 2014 at 00:18 | #25

    So….why didn’t Cummings have questions during the hearing? Why wait until the end to have his little meltdown? Why shouldn’t Issa adjourn since Learner wasn’t going to say anything?

    Why? Because it was all an act for the cameras and he expects everyone to kowtow or be called a racist.

    Oh…look….Jesse Jackson is using the race card for that very thing.
    Congressman Darrell Issa’s behavior was crude, wrong, racist and mean towards Congressman Elijah Cummings. Do you agree?

    — Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) March 6, 2014

    So….. if shutting a mic is rude…how do you explain this?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhvK9CkjL9g
    I’m Shocked! Shocked, I tell you, to see Jesse Jackson calling someone a racist.

    • March 7th, 2014 at 02:27 | #26

      I don’t disagree that Jesse Jackson is rude and I don’t disagree that he sometimes displays what appears to be racism. However, why are you talking about him? He isn’t a congressman and he wasn’t at the hearings yesterday. Another attempt at deflection.

      See…so and so is doing it too. That really isn’t a good defense.

    • March 7th, 2014 at 02:29 | #27

      re Waxman

      I watched. How can anyone determine what even went on? The clip is way too short. I would probably try to remove Issa from every meeting I was in chairing if he acted like I have seen him act.

      How about a link to the entire discussion so I can more effectively evaluate what went on.

  19. March 7th, 2014 at 00:32 | #28

    Cummings issued a statement late Thursday.

    “This evening, Chairman Issa telephoned me and apologized for his conduct, and I accepted his apology,” he said. “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.”

    Personally, I don’t see what he apologized for.

    Cummings made an opening statement
    Cummings asked questions – Lerner refused to answer
    When the witness refuses to answer the meeting it over
    Cummings has a hissy fit when he’s prevented from propagandizing.

  20. Frank Johnson
    March 7th, 2014 at 00:43 | #29

    I’m no defender of Cummings but Issa came off looking like a bully.
    To me Issa is a prime example of whats wrong in Congress. He’d far rather score what he thinks are partisan debating points to pander to his base than to engage in actual governance.

  21. Frank Johnson
    March 7th, 2014 at 00:43 | #30

    I’m no defender of Cummings but Issa came off looking like a bully.
    To me Issa is a prime example of whats wrong in Congress. He’d far rather score what he thinks are partisan debating points to pander to his base than to engage in actual governance.

  22. Wolverine
    March 7th, 2014 at 04:10 | #31

    Why am I discussing Waxman? Come, come, now. Waxman has long been the Dem Congressional poster boy for acting the Majority bully boy in committee meetings. Issa just got started. Let’s be fair here. Kettle and pot again.

    • March 7th, 2014 at 06:52 | #32

      But we aren’t talking about Waxman. Why can’t you talk about Issa? You are deflecting. Issa doesn’t need props. Let’s just discuss him.

      If Someone else does something obnoxious, then we will discuss that person.

  23. Wolverine
    March 7th, 2014 at 04:16 | #33

    Engage in actual governance? Well, it certainly would be nice if the other side made an honest effort to provide the citizens with the truth in these affairs instead of trying to delay and derail Congressional investigations any way they can.

  24. Pat.Herve
    March 7th, 2014 at 07:29 | #34

    Cargosquid :
    Cummings issued a statement late Thursday.
    “This evening, Chairman Issa telephoned me and apologized for his conduct, and I accepted his apology,” he said. “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.”
    Personally, I don’t see what he apologized for.
    Cummings made an opening statement
    Cummings asked questions – Lerner refused to answer
    When the witness refuses to answer the meeting it over
    Cummings has a hissy fit when he’s prevented from propagandizing.

    cargo – Cummings was not permitted to have an opening statement – Issa opened the meeting, asked his own questions and closed the session without giving AnYoNe else an opportunity to speak.

  25. Pat.Herve
    March 7th, 2014 at 07:37 | #35

    I have a feeling that is there was any there, there – Issa would be the first one to grant immunity to Lerner.

  26. March 7th, 2014 at 07:54 | #36

    good for Issa. He did the right thing by apologizing. When I watch the video, it seems clear to me that he is confused about what to do. He sits, he stands, he sits again, he stands. He turns off the mic then turns it back on, finally turning it off and leaving. Even he knew he wasn’t doing the right thing. He showed us all that behavior does matter and its a good lesson for the very young, the very old, and the rest in between :)

  27. blue
    March 7th, 2014 at 09:23 | #37

    It is a shame that the discussion is now centered on Issa and not Lerner. Issa quoted and released Lerner e-mails that clearly show that she knew what she was doing and that she knew it was wrong politically, ethically and legally. Hence taking the 5th. What is a Democrate to do – but change the subject, deny reality and attack the messenger. What Issa wants and what Democrats are trying to prevent at all cost is Lerner’s testimony re who she was coordinating with at the White House – and she is smart eough and senior enough to know that those communications needed to be by phone not e-mail. Cummings got the job of ranking minority member on the Committee over two more senior members for a reason- they trusted him to block any Issa investigation – and this one in particular. But lets talk about Issa instead.

    • March 7th, 2014 at 10:03 | #38

      Issa was the one acting like a rude pig. Of course we will talk about him.

      How come you are the only one who has seen these inflammatory emails?

  28. March 7th, 2014 at 10:48 | #39

    I guess Blue has access to confidential information?

  29. blue
    March 7th, 2014 at 11:50 | #40

    Yelling into the mike, calling the investigation a fraud from the dias, declining an opening statement and then waiting until after the hearing was closed to make all kinds of inappropriate and unprofessional media focused charges to make sure the story was about Issa and not about Lerner taking the 5th – again. That was rude. Cummings understood the value of Lerner taking the 5th again to the Republicans and had to change the subject.

  30. punchak
    March 7th, 2014 at 15:40 | #41

    @blue
    That’s what happened! Issa drew all the attention to himself, while Lerner and the reason for the invesstigation sort of dissappeared.
    Issa’s tactics truly backfired this time – big time.

  31. Lyssa
    March 7th, 2014 at 17:42 | #42

    Rude is bi-partisan

  32. Wolverine
    March 8th, 2014 at 00:03 | #43

    That post-meeting rant by Elijah Cummings (what I could hear of it) sounded much like the angry diatribes he has launched at almost every committee session against Issa and the Repubs. More Cummings carping from a position of relative (and resented) weakness in an effort to protect his pals at 1600. Wondering if the loss of committee chair power and the poor Dem House takeover prospects this year were what caused Henry Waxman to hang up his own bully committee spikes.

  33. George S. Harris
    March 8th, 2014 at 00:28 | #44

    Isssa = 21st century Joe McCarthy.

  34. Kelly_3406
    March 8th, 2014 at 06:59 | #45

    If the shoe were on the other foot and Elijah Cummings had been the chair who had cut off Daryl Issa, I guarantee you that there would be no discussion of rudeness or any comparison with Joe McCarthy. The only difference would be the response of the media and the Moonhowlings blog. There would be muted approval over his courage to end the shameless theatrics that threaten to divert attention from the real issue.

    The Dems are no strangers to strong-arm tactics. May I remind you that Republicans were completely shut out from offering amendments and from using filibuster during passage of ObamaCare (it was passed under budget reconciliation even though it wasn’t a budget). This piece of crap affects every American, yet was passed by manipulating the budget rules and shutting down Republicans to influence any part of the measure. Nary a word was heard on this blog about those shenanigans.

    So cry me a river over Issa shutting the mic of Elijah Cummings, which is far milder than what happened during the “passage” of Obamacare. The Republicans need to ignore the media and use their power to get to the bottom of this IRS scandal.

  35. Kelly_3406
    March 8th, 2014 at 08:06 | #46

    @middleman

    The facts are that the IRS admitted to wrong doing and publicly apologized for targeting conservatives during a presidential election. In addition, there are publicly released emails from Lerner to Administration officials discussing detailed tax issues and to others discussing targeting of conservatives. It has also been revealed that Lerner used private email to conduct official business.

    While none of these constitute a smoking gun, these facts reveal wrong doing by Lerner and the possibility of involvement by the Administration, both of which merit careful investigation. Her decision to invoke the 5th certainly indicates that Lerner is concerned about criminal prosecution.

    Some of the Lerner emails can be found by searching on the House Ways and Means Committee web site. Here is one example:

    http://waysandmeans.house.gov/uploadedfiles/camp_boustany_fec_7_30.pdf

    There are also emails between Lerner’s attorney and the committee that indicated that she was planning to cooperate at the hearings:

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2014/03/03/emails-show-lois-lerners-attorney-agreed-she-would-testify-in-front-of-house-oversight-committee-n1803495

    Last, but not least, the hearings have pressured the IRS into releasing more documents, which should help the investigation proceed:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/darrell-issa-irs-probe-new-evidence-104421.html

  36. March 8th, 2014 at 19:39 | #47

    @George S. Harris
    Really?

    How so?

    Please…provide examples.

    Because…apparently….. Issa is finally getting somewhere.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/7/irs-turn-over-lerner-emails-tea-party-targeting-pr/

    Cummings is there merely to obstruct the investigation and deflect discussion of the fact that Lerner is refusing to testify. THAT is what all that commotion was about.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/05/15/liberal-group-progress-texas-also-received-extra-irs-scrutiny/

    Even the IRS Inspector General believes that there is something wrong.

    A quick synopsis for those that don’t care that the IRS is playing favorites.

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/03/remember-when-dems-say-liberal-groups-were-targeted-too-by-irs-theyre-lying/

  37. March 9th, 2014 at 13:10 | #48

    Like I keep saying, blame the Supreme Court and Citizens United. IRS was wrong in that they were being lazy. Having said that, I personally know of a liberal group that was denied tax exempt status for the very same reasons, demonstrate your good within the community.

  38. March 9th, 2014 at 13:16 | #49

    Kelly,
    Seriously? The emails show nothing. It shows bureaucratic red tape to me! No wonder she is concerned about being railroaded by the committee.

  39. March 9th, 2014 at 13:59 | #50

    @Elena
    What we should blame is that idiot McCain-Feingold Act that caused Citizens United to be necessary.

  40. blue
    March 9th, 2014 at 18:13 | #51

    The e-mails show nothing. I do wish I could beleive that. Koskinen is an honest guy, if he could, he would fix this quietly by sending a few IRS employees to their new offices in the basement.

    /www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/12/emails-ois-lerner-specifically-targeted-tea-party/?page=all

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