Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said a GOP accusation that ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings asked the IRS for information about a conservative group might "destroy any possibility of comity" between the two sides on the panel.
Cummings, D-Md., declined to comment on the letter sent by Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., offering a statement. But Connolly defended him when asked whether committee Democrats hid their communications with the IRS about True the Vote, a conservative group that received extra scrutiny during its application for tax-exempt status.
"I don't know about that sequence, but I think people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones," Connolly told the Washington Examiner. "Are we going to operate on that principle, that any communication has to be shared with the other side? Because that would come as news to the minority that's been frozen out of depositions, information, transcripts, [and] closed sessions."
The Examiner's Susan Ferrechio explains that "Cummings and his staff sought 'copies of all training materials used for volunteers, affiliates, or other entities,' from True the Vote" five days before the IRS requested that information from the group, according to panel Republicans.
Connolly called the accusation "a new low" for Issa. "I think it will just further damage if not outright destroy any possibility of comity between the majority and minority sides of the aisle," he said. "And the loser in that is obviously Congress as an institution, oversight of government in general, and the public interest."