House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) sought to silence the ranking Democrat on the Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), during a hearing on the Internal Revenue Service’s improper targeting of groups applying for tax-exempt status.
On Wednesday, after former IRS official Lois Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination, Issa quickly moved to adjourn the session, saying he could “see no point in going further.” But as Cummings began to ask a procedural question about the issue, the Chairman tried to cut his mic, leaving Cummings to shout from his seat.
“I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America! I am tired of this,” he said, adding that after spending at least $14 million, the Committee has uncovered “no evidence to support allegations of a political conspiracy against conservative groups.”
After walking out, Issa defended his actions to reporters, saying that Cummings intended to “make a speech.” “He was talking into a mic in an adjourned meeting,” Issa said. “He was actually slandering me at the moment that the mics did go off by claiming that this had not been a real investigation.”