Cummings knee-deep in the IRS targeting
Elijah Cummings: Obstruction of Justice
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The back-and-forth drama on the House Oversight Committee has gotten heated over the past few months. Last month, Elijah Cummings threw a fit when Issa shut down a hearing after retired IRS Director Lois Lerner plead the Fifth Amendment.
Issa fired off a personal letter at Cummings, claiming that he and his attorneys were frustrating the fact-finding mission of the Oversight Committee.
Following revelations that Cummings’ staff was working with the IRS to get information on True the Vote, the same group Cummings tried to shame into silence through the race card, further evidence indeed suggests that Cummings was shaking down and intimidating the group, with the help of the IRS.
According to recent reports, Ranking Oversight Committee member Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) may have been obstructing justice for the past year, preventing the Oversight Committee from investigating the IRS abuses which targeted conservative groups. Released emails reveal that Cummings was working behind the scenes to target True the Vote, despite his protestations to the contrary.
Katherine Englebrecht, the head of True the Vote, filed an ethics complaint against Cummings already. The ranking Congressman sent letters seeking information, but then went public to the press about True the Vote instead of speaking the head of True the Vote for information. Englebrecht argued that Cummings targeted her group for political reasons, as one federal agency after another began investigating the group, carrying with their visits a strong presence of intimidation:
After Engelbrecht formed her group and sought tax-exempt status, she and her family, which previously had no contact with any government agency of any kind, were buried by an alphabet soup of government harassers, including the ATF, OSHA and the IRS that Cummings was coordinating with.
New IRS emails released by a congressional panel show staff working for the Democratic ranking member communicated with the IRS multiple times in 2012 and 2013 about a voter-fraud prevention group.
Apparently, Cummings was working with the IRS to target True the Vote, which supports Voter ID laws to prevent voter fraud, reforms which Cummings opposes.
On Feb. 6, in a subcommittee hearing that heard the testimony of Catherine Engelbrecht—founder of True the Vote, who was targeted by the IRS, FBI and other federal agencies—Cummings vehemently denied that his staff had any contact or coordination in targeting True the Vote.
Cummings on three separate occasions had sent letters with his title on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee stating that he had concerns and that True the Vote should be investigated.
Issa slammed Cummings in a letter about this matter:
“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,” states a letter to Cummings from Issa and five other subcommittee chairmen.
Now, Mother Jones magazine rises to Cummings’ defense, yet even they had to acknowledge the following:
Issa’s main gripe is that Cummings sent questions to True the Vote that were similar to questions the IRS put to the organization. He says that although Cummings denied that his staff “might have been involved in putting True the Vote on the radar screen of some of these federal agencies,” his communications indicate otherwise. Issa also claims that Cummings didn’t adequately inform the committee of his interactions with the IRS.
Why did Cummings hide the fact that he had been investigating True the Vote? Even Mother Jones cannot paper over this disturbing inconsistency. I wonder if Democrats will assemble on the House Floor and call out their own colleague for covering up his actions on the panel.
Now we can understand why Cummings shouted “I am tired of this!” in an attempt to smear Issa and distract the committee from finding out that he is knee-deep in the IRS targeting himself. To this day, the Mainstream Media ignores the matter, and White House Spokesman Jay Carney calls these disturbing trends “phony scandals” ,yet at the same time acknowledges that they must be investigated..
As these allegations increase, what would be the penalty for Cummings’ obstruction of justice in a federal criminal investigation? Five years in federal prison.Arthur Christopher Schaper -- Bio and Archives | Click to view Comments