The House Oversight Committee’s top Democrat on Tuesday released the full transcript of a congressional interview that he said “debunks conspiracy theories” about the IRS targeting controversy. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member of the committee, produced a complete interview transcript in which an IRS manager in Cincinnati said he elevated the first tea party case that led the agency to begin singling out conservative groups for extra scrutiny. Cummings released partial transcripts from the manager’s interview last week, prompting warnings from committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) about releasing full interviews.
Issa said in a letter to his Democratic counterpart that such leaks could help future witnesses “devise testimony consistent with the narrative that previous witnesses presented to committee investigators.” Issa’s staff had already made some congressional interviews available to the media at that point.
Cummings last week said the chairman’s disclosures posed “exactly the same risk,” and he challenged Issa to identify and justify each line from the Cincinnati manager’s interview that he wanted withheld. Issa had not responded to the request by Tuesday.
The chairman said in a statement Tuesday that Cummings’ document dump will “serve as a roadmap for IRS officials to navigate investigative interviews with Congress.”