Cummings redacts key details from letter accusing Issa of omitting Fast and Furious facts

In a letter sent Tuesday, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House oversight committee, accused Republican committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa of misrepresenting new evidence in the Operation Fast and Furious saga.

But a copy of the letter posted on the committee Democrats’ website includes long redacted sections, hiding the substance of Cummings’ argument from the American people.

The letter was a response to Issa’s announcement Tuesday of new evidence in the Fast and Furious saga. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Issa wrote that his committee had “obtained copies of six wiretap applications in support of seven wire intercepts utilized during Fast and Furious.”

Issa said those documents “show that immense detail about questionable investigative tactics was available to the senior officials who reviewed and authorized them.”

Because the committee has this evidence now, Issa explained, they can show Holder and several other Justice Department officials in the Obama administration provided “false” statements to Congress.

In his response to Issa, Cummings wrote that Issa omitted relevant facts and ultimately “mischaracterize[d] the contents and significance” of the wiretap application documents.

But Cummings himself redacted from public view all the evidence supporting his claims, and the entire substance of his argument, with the exception of two half-sentences.

“First, your letters omit the critical fact that,” Cummings wrote, before blacking out several lines. He then claimed that the redacted lines show “a key omission that completely undermines your conclusions and distorts your representations.”

Later in his letter, Cummings curiously accuses Issa of “omit[ting] critical facts that undermine your conclusions,” something that his own letter demonstrated.

NEXT: Cummings’ staff justifies redacting key information from the letter

READ: 2012-06-05 Cummings Letter to Issa