Issa Apologizes for Conduct During IRS Hearing

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    WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 05: House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) (R) gets up to leave as ranking member U.S. Rep. Elijah Cumming's (D-MD) (L) continues to speak after Issa adjourned the hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building March 5, 2014 in Washington, DC. Issa adjourned after the witness, former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner, exercised her Fifth Amendment right not to speak about the IRS targeting investigation during the hearing. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has apologized for a heated exchange that took place during a House Oversight Committee meeting on Wednesday.

    The hearing was about an investigation into the IRS for targeting conservative groups.

    When IRS official Lois Lerner refused to answer questions, Issa abruptly ended the hearing.

    However, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., protested and said he wanted to ask a question. Issa motioned to cut Cummings’ microphone. Cummings kept speaking, becoming increasingly upset. Issa eventually told Cummings that he had his chance and left.

    On Thursday, Issa personally apologized to Cummings.

    Cummings then released this statement:

    This evening, Chairman Issa telephoned me and apologized for his conduct, and I accepted his apology. My sincere hope is that we move forward, we will respect the opinions of all members of the committee, we will proceed in a deliberate manner to obtain the facts, we will refrain from making accusations that have no basis in fact, and we will seek resolution rather than unnecessary conflict.

    Issa's office did not release a statement, but referred NBC 7 to the congressman's Twitter account:

    “I could have offered to reopen the hearing and allowed him to make a second statement. As chairman, I should have been much more sensitive to the mood of what was going on, and I take responsibility,” Issa said in a phone interview with the UT San Diego. 

    Issa represents California’s 49th Congressional District, with includes parts of San Diego’s North County and southern Orange County.

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