Elijah Cummings’s changing views on holding the AG in contempt of Congress

Elijah Cummings’s changing views on holding the AG in contempt of Congress
Elijah Cummings (Image: YouTube screen grab)

File this one under “When words come back to bite you.” The bite victim in this case is Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), current chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and big-time hypocrite.

So determined is Cummings to relitigate the Mueller investigation, despite having received 99.9% of Mueller’s unredacted report, that on Tuesday he threatened to withhold the salaries of Interior, Commerce, and Justice Department officials who stood in the way of the House investigation.

The threat was comparatively tame for Cummings, who last week said that jail was an option for administration officials who don’t comply with committee demands. Via CBS News:

“I said there is no tool in our toolbox that we should not explore. We will look at all those tools from a very practical standpoint,” Cummings told reporters. “It may be that we just want to deal with fines, I don’t know, but it’s either fines and/or prison.”

When it comes to Attorney General William Barr, Cummings pulls out all the stops. Two days ago, during hearings on whether to hold the AG in contempt of Congress, Cummings said by way of justifying his “pro” vote:

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The president keeps saying there is not going to be a ‘do over’. And he has talked about a number of people have said we should just be finished. That is the worst thing we could do.

If we do not put brakes on what is happening in our country, we will no longer have a democracy. We are being blocked every which way from getting information. We also being blocked from having access to members of the administration.

But contrast that with what Cummings said in 2012 when a Republican-led House chose to hold then-AG Eric Holder in contempt for refusing to turn over requested documents in connection with the Fast and Furious scandal:

You’ve been holding the Attorney General to an impossible standard. [He has been] protecting documents he was prohibited by law from producing.

Which is precisely the case with Barr and the Mueller report.

Since the quote leaked out, Cummings issued a statement claiming that the “situation then was fundamentally different than the situation today.” He goes on to note that Holder released 7,000 pages of documents to Barr’s none, which is blatantly false. But the larger point that Cummings is overlooking is that neither Holder nor his boss, then-Pres. Barack Obama, was subjected to a two-year-long investigation by a special counsel whose word was deemed so sacrosanct that Democrats swore to uphold his findings — until they were released and failed to conform to the Dems’ expectations.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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