The latest hearing on the Internal Revenue Services’ targeting of conservative groups got ugly on Thursday, with House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa accusing Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of acting like a “little boy.”
It started with Cummings criticizing Issa for suggesting the tax agency’s actions were being carried out at the White House. Cummings and Issa have been dueling over the matter all summer.
Cummings pointed to Issa’s op-ed in USA Today, in which the Republican asked “Was the targeting of Tea Party applicants directed from the White House or somewhere else outside the IRS? As our investigation is ongoing, the responsible answer is that judgment should be withheld.”
At the beginning of the hearing, Cummings called Issa’s remarks “unsubstantiated nonsense,” adding the Republican rushed to his previous conclusions “with no evidence whatsoever.”
A bit later, Issa skewered the Maryland Dem, arguing he never said it came from the White House, only from Washington, D.C. “We now see it today leading to Washington…Although I expect the right to immediately say it leads to the White House, I’m always shocked when the ranking member seems to want to say, like a little boy whose hand has been caught in a cookie jar, ‘What hand? What cookie?’ I’ve never said it leads to the White House.”
Issa did made headlines last month when he appeared on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley to discuss the IRS targeting and had this to say about White House Spokesman Jay Carney:
“The administration is still, their paid liar, their spokesperson, picture behind, he’s still making up things about what happened and calling this local rogue,” said Issa.
During Thursday’s testimony, two IRS agents, Elizabeth Hofacre and Carter Hull repeatedly said they did not know of anyone at the IRS who had political motivations in targeting the conservative groups.
Issa later apologized for calling Cummings a “little boy,” and Cummings accepted the apology. The Republican added it was an “expression I grew up with” and “It’s about being a child and nothing else.”