In the past week, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has been implicated in the IRS abuse scandal. Cummings is the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is the main body investigating the IRS for abusing conservative groups. Emails show that he was seeking the same information from Texas-based True the Vote that the IRS sought, and that his staff was communicating directly with Lois Lerner at the agency.
Other emails suggest that Lerner acted on Cummings’ orders/requests by pestering subordinate Holly Paz to obtain the information that Cummings wanted. And other emails put the abuse in the hands of President Obama’s own deputy assistant, Jeanne Lambrew.
Evidence uncovered earlier in the scandal links the abuse to Obama political appointees at the IRS and within the White House counsel’s office. Cummings unilaterally declared the scandal “over” in June of 2013, before any of these revelations came out.
Reporter Bob Woodward of Watergate fame appeared on Fox News Sunday. The legendary investigative reporter told host Chris Wallace “There’s obviously something here” in the IRS scandal despite President Obama’s declaration that there “isn’t a smidgen of corruption” in it.
“For the president to take that position is very, very unusual,” Woodward said.
He added that reporters should “dig into it — there should be answers.” He did not explain why reporters have not done that.
One reporter who did look into the Benghazi and Fast and Furious scandals, Sharyl Attkisson, lost her job at CBS News.
Woodward also questioned whether the House committee investigating the scandal is capable of properly carrying the investigation out.
Woodward has a strong point. Cummings’ position on the committee and the implication that he is involved with the abuse, and his own history with the IRS, plus President Obama’s “smidgen” statement and how that implicates the president himself in an ongoing coverup, show that the committee is compromised and the White House will never cooperate. Congress needs to appoint a select committee to investigate.