In a meeting of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today, Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings snapped at Chairman Darrell Issa, calling his investigation “un-American.” Issa has long been the Republican attack dog in the House and has been leading the charge against the IRS scandal. On Wednesday, former IRS employee Lois Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment in response to Issa’s questions.
After ten minutes of questioning Lerner and not receiving any answers, Issa abruptly ended the hearing, prompting Cummings to tell Issa, “You cannot run a hearing like this. You just cannot do this. We are better than that as a country. We are better than that as a committee.” Issa stood up and told everyone in the room that the hearing was adjourned.
“Let me say what I have to say,” Cummings responded. “I've listened to you for the last 15 or 20 minutes. Let me say what I have to.” Issa relented for a moment and Cummings began criticizing Issa’s investigation before Isaa stood up and said to shut the entire thing down.
“If you will sit down and allow me to ask this question. I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America. I am tired of this,” Cummings said. “We have members over here, each who represent 700,000 people. You cannot just have a one-sided investigation. There is absolutely something wrong with that, and it is absolutely un-American.”
“We had a hearing. It was adjourned,” Issa replied. “I gave you an opportunity to ask your questions. You had no questions.”
“I do have questions,” Elijah said as Issa walked away. “Chairman, what are you hiding?”
Here’s the full clip, via MSNBC:
Danny Vinik is a staff writer at The New Republic.