The IRS and Lois Lerner: the 5th Amendment and Elijah Cummings | James Pat Guerréro

Today, the U. S. Congressional House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform heard  Ms. Lois Lerner, Former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations, continuing from a previous hearing that started in May 2013.  Simultaneously at the end of the hearing, ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-MD7, demanded to ask a question, but Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-CA49, had already concluded the hearing because Ms. Lerner kept invoking the 5th amendment to all his questions.  So, at the end of the hearing, Cummings took over the microphone and didn’t stop talking; he kept demanding to ask a “procedural question” of the Chairman.  While the Chairman tried to mute the microphone, Cummings kept on talking stating “I am a member of a Congress of the United States of America. I am tired of this!” [time mark 13:43]

Meanwhile, Ms. Lerner, who has appeared under a subpoena, was excused to leave the hearing by Chairman Issa, but she remained seated to the conclusion of voiced filibustering by Cummings, who spoke in spite of a muted microphone.

The microphone was first muted at about the 12:15 time mark of the 17 minutes and 42 seconds time video. Then, the microphone was unmuted at 12:30. At that time Chairman Issa stated that all were free to leave, Cummings could ask his question, and said thank you.  To Cummings’ renewed vigor, Chairman Issa came back on stating Ms. Lerner was released and left on the microphone.  At 13:13 Chairman stated, “We’re adjourned. Close it down.”  At time 14:02 the microphone was finally turned off to the end of the video, and Cummings was left making statements to silenced audio until the end of the video.

Elijah Cummings, sitting, and Chairman Issa, standing

The next day a resolution to punish Chairman Issa was not passed by a vote of 211-186 to table the resolution.  Speaker John Boehner supported Chairman Issa saying, “From what I understand, I think Mr. Issa was within his rights to adjourn the hearing when he did.”

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