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Rep. Elijah Cummings says Cincinnati IRS interviews prove White House wasn't involved

Democrat wants transcripts released

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WASHINGTON - Democrats have come out swinging this week, defending the Obama administration in the ongoing IRS scandal.

Congressional investigators interviewed four Cincinnati IRS agents in Washington about their involvement in the targeting of tea party groups applying for tax breaks.

A lawmaker on Capitol Hill is threatening to release all of their transcribed questions and answers to prove, he says, the White House didn't know what was going on here in Cincinnati.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D, Md.)  says if Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) does not release the transcripts with Cincinnati IRS workers, he will.

"I will talk to the chairman again. I've written him and begged him to release the transcripts. I want them released," Cummings said. "I'm willing to come on your show next week with the chairman with the transcripts, if he agrees to do that. But if he doesn't, I'll release them by the end of the week."

Cummings released portions of the interviews, including one with a Cincinnati IRS screening group manager, who is only identified as being a "conservative Republican."

Question: "Do you have any reason to believe that anyone in the White House was involved in the decision to screen tea party cases?
"

Answer: "I have no reason to believe that."

Question: "Are you aware of any political bias by employees in the Cincinnati office against conservative views?"

Answer: "I'm not aware of that."

Democratic staffers say "none of the four other IRS employees … stated they were aware of political bias or motivation playing any role in the development or screening of cases."

"Based upon everything I've seen, the case is solved," Cummings said. "And if it were me, I would wrap this case up and move on, to be frank with you."

Issa disagreed strongly with that statement, saying this scandal is nowhere close to being solved.

We contacted Issa's spokespeople about the release of the transcripts in their entirety, and they said they're still discussing whether or not they will.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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