Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, spoke with Megyn Kelly of The Kelly File on FOX News last night (see video below). The topic was Democrat Elijah Cumming’s angry outburst at the recent hearing in which Lois Lerner again refused to testify in the Obama IRS scandal. Issa tells Kelly that he’d already adjourned the meeting, and that Cummings “hissy fit” was pre-planned. Issa insists that he was following the rules and that the meeting had already adjourned.
Issa responded to charges of racism by Jesse Jackson and others as “sad,” and said that the reason Cummings received his committee appointment was because he promised to stifle Issa’s investigations into Obama’s numerous scandals:
Mr. Cummings and I both had opening statements nine months ago. He asked me before the hearing if he’d be able to make an opening statement, and I said “no, this is a continuation of a hearing specifically recessed.” I then adjourned the hearing. After I adjourned, Mr. Cummings, in what appeared to be a pre-staged event, then went into this, “I have a right to talk,” and screaming and so on.I broke no rules, I did exactly what is according to the books. I had a script in front of me that had been approved by the parliamentarian, and I followed it.You know, it’s sad, my last chairman, Chairman Ed Towns and I were dear friends, we worked well together. Elijah Cummings got this job quite frankly by saying he’d be different than Towns, that he’d hold me to a stop, he’d keep me from accomplishing anything.The IRS targeted conservative groups and held back their ability for years to get their approvals, and that is what the investigation is.
When asked by FOX’s Megyn Kelly why Issa didn’t just let Cummings go off, even after he’d adjourned the meeting, Issa responded that he’d probably have handled the situation differently if given another opportunity, but insists that he was just following the rules.
Megyn, anybody would do something over again if they had the chance. But the fact is that I had adjourned the meeting before he asked. He didn’t raise a point of order or parliamentary inquiries, the normal ways, especially for people as experienced as he is.He asked, “Can I ask a question,” and I said that we’d already adjourned but go ahead and ask a question. He then went into that diatribe.
Kelly then asked Issa if he’d apologize to Congressman Cummings. Issa addressed charges that his disagreement with Cummings was being used by Jesse Jackson as opportunity to use the race card:
You know, I broke no rules and he broke the decorum of the House, but I might mention that several years ago, Henry Waxman pounded a gavel and said he would have me removed because I was pointing out that he was breaking the rules. We didn’t launch any kind of House attempt, and I certainly didn’t say that he was somehow anti-Arab American.
The fact is that I did things according to the rules. I followed a script, and then Mr. Cummings decided to have quite a hissy fit.
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