Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) explained on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that when he asked a procedural question after Issa adjourned the hearing, he was simply trying to get former IRS official Lois Lerner's attorney to provide the committee with a proffer. That agreement would have told the committee what Lerner would have said if she testified during the hearing instead of invoking her Fifth Amendment rights.
"I just looked at the clip and it seems like Chairman Issa thinks he can read my mind," Cummings said. "He forgets sometimes that, quite often, we are as Democrats in this committee left out of the discussions with regard to deliberating and working with trying to get a proffer and those types of things. But he forgets I'm a lawyer and I've been practicing for over 20 years."
Cummings also suggested that Republicans on the committee may have violated Lerner's Fifth Amendment rights when they decided that a statement she gave denying the allegations against her constituted a waiver of those rights.
"I think we have to be very careful with people's rights and I don't care who it is," he said. "Tea party or conservative, Republican, Democrat. Everybody's rights need to be protected and I think that we need to do that. And we had legal basis to say that they were not upholding her rights."