John Boehner Defends Darrell Issa Over Heated IRS Hearing
WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) stood by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) Thursday amid Democratic calls to remove Issa from his post as chair of the House Oversight Committee over a contentious hearing on the Internal Revenue Service.
Issa angrily shut down a committee hearing Wednesday when former IRS official Lois Lerner again asserted her Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer questions about the agency’s targeting of “social welfare” nonprofits, many of them affiliated with conservatives. The hearing turned even more dramatic when Issa cut off the microphone of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who ripped into the chairman for refusing to allow Democrats to ask questions.
“From what I understand, I think Mr. Issa was within his rights to adjourn the hearing when he did,” Boehner told reporters at his weekly press conference. “The issue here is our effort to try to get the truth of the abuse by the IRS of groups around the country that some in the administration don’t agree with.”