House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) responded to ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) decision to release a full transcript of testimony from a witness in the IRS investigation, saying it looked like a "flailing" effort to bury the story.
The transcript appears to confirm that the initial activity of the IRS targeting conservative groups originated with a low-level employee in the agency's Cincinnati office--a claim that contradicts Issa's suggestion that the orders came from Washington.
Issa had refused to release a full transcript, prompting Democrats to do so on their own.
Full statement below:
I am deeply disappointed that Ranking Member Cummings has decided to broadly disseminate and post online a 205 page transcript that will serve as a roadmap for IRS officials to navigate investigative interviews with Congress. After unsuccessfully trying to convince the American people that IRS officials in Washington did not play a role in inappropriate scrutiny of Tea Party groups and declaring on national television that the case of IRS targeting was ‘solved’ and Congress should ‘move on,’ this looks like flailing. Americans who think Congress should investigate IRS misconduct should be outraged by Mr. Cummings’ efforts to obstruct needed oversight.
In the course of this fact based inquiry, Ranking Member Cummings has wrongly argued that questions about IRS conduct are somehow not legitimate. His own previous release of excerpts from this very same transcript undermines his claims that the Committee is somehow trying to keep some specific revelation from public view.