(CNSNews.com) - "The only reason we haven't been able to get the truth from Lois Lerner is because of one person. And that is our chairman," Rep. Steve Horsford (D-Nev.) told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday, as the panel considered a contempt of Congress resolution against the former IRS official.
"So if my colleagues want to hold someone in contempt, maybe they should look to the person holding the gavel, since it's his poor handling of this investigation that has resulted in why we can't get the truth that the people deserve."
Horsford said the contempt resolution against Lerner "does nothing to get the truth" for conservatives who believe they were inappropriately scrutinized by the IRS, and it does nothing to reassure the public, which deserves the Oversight Committee "to act in a fair and impartial manner."
He noted the committee has interviewed 39 witnesses, reviewed more than 450,000 pages of documents, and the IRS has spent at least $14 million so far -- "and there's absolutely no evidence to support the chairman's accusations that Miss Lerner orchestrated any IRS targeting."
Horsford complained that some of his questions can't be answered because of the way Issa ran the investigation.
He complained that Issa has refused to hold any hearings with "legal experts" who could discuss the issues, "demonstrating that he simply does not want to hear from anyone who disagrees with his position."
He also accused Issa of refusing to let the committee Democrats speak, specifically mentioning that Issa once cut off the microphone of ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).
Horsford said Issa should have let Lerner's attorney speak to the committee for her; and he said Issa should have granted Lerner's request for an extra week to prepare her testimony.
"Now like many of you, I want to hear from Lois Lerner. I want to get the facts. But because of the manner in which the investigation has been handled by our chairman, we can't get those facts."
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