If you’ve paid even a modicum of attention to the House Oversight Committee hearings on the IRS scandal, you know that Ranking Member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has insisted from the beginning that the Republican-led investigation has been little more than a witch hunt.
Cummings has been accused of virtually running cover for the White House, a charge he has vehemently denied. Now, newly delivered internal emails between Cummings’ staff and the IRS not only prove otherwise, but show that Cummings’ own staff directly communicated with the IRS about at least one of the conservative groups targeted by the agency.
Via the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform website:
Newly delivered internal IRS e-mails sent and received by former IRS Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lerner and other IRS employees show that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Minority staff, working for Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, began contacting the IRS in August 2012 about targeted non-profit applicant True the Vote.
The Chairman and five Subcommittee Chairmen on the Oversight Committee today sent a letter to Ranking Member Cummings demanding an explanation for his staff’s queries, why the Minority hid these efforts from the Majority, and why the Ranking Member denied such actions by his staff at a February Subcommittee hearing:
“Although you have previously denied that your staff made inquiries to the IRS about conservative organization True the Vote that may have led to additional agency scrutiny, communication records between your staff and IRS officials – which you did not disclose to Majority Members or staff – indicates otherwise,” wrote the Chairman and five Subcommittee Chairmen of the Oversight Committee.
As the Committee is scheduled to consider a resolution holding Ms. Lerner, a participant in responding to your communications that you failed to disclose, in contempt of Congress, you have an obligation to fully explain your staff’s undisclosed contacts with the IRS.”
Among other charges, the letter from chairman Darrell Issa states: