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Cummings Denies Conspiring With IRS To Target Conservative Groups

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Elijah Cummings
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Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A cable news channel sets a critical eye on a popular Maryland Democrat. Congressman Elijah Cummings is taking heat from Fox News over allegations he helped the IRS to target conservative groups.

Derek Valcourt talks to the congressman about those allegations.

Congressman Cummings isn’t talking to Fox News about those allegations, but he did sit down to talk to WJZ.

Cummings is known even to allies as a tough political fighter.

“You remember the old movie with Rocky when he’s telling Rocky ‘Keep your left up, keep you left up?’ He is the president’s left,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Now the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee is fighting back against allegations that he and other Democrats coordinated with the IRS to unfairly target conservative groups.

“There is absolutely no collusion here,” Cummings said.

Cummings sat down with WJZ after Republican Oversight Committee Chairman Darryl Issa recently released IRS emails indicating a Cummings’ staffer requested public information about one of the groups targeted by the IRS.

It’s been a hot topic on Fox News’ “The Kelly File.”

“It’s clear that Elijah Cummings, Democrats wanted information on you and asked the IRS for it, yet he appears to be denying it in that subcommittee hearing? Is that correct?” said Megyn Kelly.

“Absolutely, I think it would go beyond ‘he appears to be,’ he lied,” said Catherine Engelbrecht, president of True the Vote, a Texas-based conservative organization whose mission is to restore integrity to elections.

“It really concerns me when baseless allegations are put out like that. That is simply not true,” Cummings said.

Cummings says Democrats were looking into reports the tax exempt group made improper donations to a political organization.

The allegations against Cummings come weeks after he publicly rebuked chairman Issa for cutting off his microphone during hearings into the IRS scandal.

Cummings says he has nothing to hide and wants the full truth to come out.

“I don’t want the IRS or any other agency abusing anybody,” he said. “I don’t care it’s the Tea Party, Democrats, Republicans, I have a problem with that. I have spent my life protecting people’s rights, and I will die protecting them.”

Cummings insists that his staff only asked for information about the conservative group True the Vote that was available to the public and says those requests had nothing to do with the IRS’ own investigation.

Oversight Committee Republicans have voted to hold the former head of the IRS in contempt for refusing to testify about the IRS scandal. It is possible that contempt case could now go before a judge.

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