Email letters, March 6, 2014

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Richard Bright’s dim-witted on-line letter – “Issa gave Cummings ample opportunity to ask questions” – illustrates why Bright “should quit trying to elaborate on the lies told by” demagoguing Darrell Issa (R-CA) and his producers at FoxNoise.

As Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Issa violated both House and his own committee’s rules by denying Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) – the ranking minority member of the committee—any opportunity to “ask questions” or speak.

House rules require “unanimous consent” to adjourn formal committee hearings, and the committee’s rules allow – absent “unanimous consent” to adjourn – each member five minutes to ask questions and/or make statements, starting with the ranking member. 

Issa arbitrarily adjourned the hearing without asking for “unanimous consent”, and then ordered Cummings’ microphone turned off when Cummings tried to speak.

Issa knew in advance that Lois Lerner would invoke her Fifth Amendment rights, but asked his ten prepared questions anyway – carried live and repeatedly rerun on FoxNoise – to create the false impression that Lerner was “hiding something” (rather than prudently abiding by her attorney’s advice – as Greta van Susteren later opined was appropriate).

Cummings sought to inform the committee, the public, and FoxNoise that Lerner’s attorney had offered to provide the committee a “proffer” of Lerner’s answers to all ten questions – thereby telling Issa what he wanted to know while protecting Lerner’s rights.

Issa did not want that inconvenient fact publicized because—like the previous testimony of the IRS official (a Republican) who initiated the purported “targeting” and its OIG (a Republican appointee) who investigated it – Lerner would have confirmed that there was no partisan bias involved and no White House influence to “target” only “conservative” and/or “Tea Party” political groups masquerading as “social welfare organizations”.

As Bright’s letter amply proves, watching FoxNoise can be dangerous to viewers’ mental health.

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