Top Oversight Dem: Issa Trying 'to Embarrass the President'

The ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said before today's hearing on Attorney General Eric Holder's contempt citation that he saw the panel's actions as "an effort to try to embarrass the president."

"I think the attorney general has complied and continues to want to comply. This is an ongoing thing," said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). "They have had to review some 2 millions of e-mails, this is ongoing."

Cummings said that in last night's meeting with Oversight members, Holder made "very clear" that he wanted the committee to give "some type of assurances that we are not going to have to be coming up here every week and taking the time of all of my employees to try to go through these documents."

"The issue we boil down to is one that could have easily been resolved yesterday," he said. "We were on the one foot line and fumbled the ball. And I'm telling you, as a lawyer, I just think contempt is going far too far and very unreasonable."

Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Cummings said, "knew there was a flawed document and created another document, citation for contempt on Friday and then says to the attorney general, you've got to produce. The attorney general says, look, I've already produced some of the documents that you're asking for and I produced others voluntarily."