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Issa rejects colleague's claim that IRS case is 'solved'

Charles Dharapak / AP

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., right, talks with the committee's ranking Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 6, 2013, during the committee's hearing regarding IRS conference spending.

A top GOP lawmaker pushed back Sunday against a Democratic colleague’s claim that all questions stemming from the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party groups have been sufficiently answered.

Rep. Darrell Issa, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman and frequent White House detractor, slammed comments made by Rep. Elijah Cummings Sunday that the case of allegedly unwarranted investigations of conservative activist groups has been "solved."


"I strongly disagree with Ranking Member Cummings’ assertion that we know everything we need to know about inappropriate targeting of Tea Party groups by the IRS,” Issa (R-Calif.) said in a statement released Sunday after Cummings (D-Maryland) appeared on CNN.

"His extreme and reckless assertions are a signal that his true motivation is stopping needed Congressional oversight and he has no genuine interest in working, on a bipartisan basis, to expose the full truth," Issa's statement read.

Cummings had earlier appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and claimed that the "conservative Republican" manager of Cincinnati-based IRS screeners responsible for 501(c)(4) probes told congressional investigators that there was no evidence the Obama administration had a role in the agency’s alleged targeting of Tea Party groups.

The claims run counter to allegations made by many leading Republicans that the IRS took orders from political operatives associated with Obama’s re-election campaign.

"He is a conservative Republican working for the IRS," Cummings said of the unidentified manager. "I think this interview and these statements go a long way to showing that the White House was not involved in this."

What’s more, Cummings said the investigation completed by the House Oversight Committee showed that there was no need to extend a federal probe.

"Based upon everything I've seen, the case is solved,” Cummings said. "If it were me, I would wrap this case up and move on."

Issa disputed Cummings' claims in his statement, saying that the "American public wants to know why targeting occurred and who was involved" and that Cummings’ account "did not provide anything enlightening or contradict other witness accounts."

"The only thing Ranking Member Cummings left clear in his comments today is that if it were up to him the investigation would be closed," Issa said. "Fortunately, the decision to close the investigation is not his to make."

Issa added that he intends to continue to work with  the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), on a "fact based investigation that fully exposes all relevant facts about IRS efforts to target Americans for their political beliefs."