IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth
The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
IRS officials and an inspector general have said that there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing at this point. After news of Lerner invoking the Fifth broke, some Republicans cited it as proof that the law was broken.
Lerner is the IRS official who first acknowledged the wrongdoing at a legal conference and later that day held a conference call explaining what had happened. The Post’s Fact Checker blog has given her statements Four Pinocchios — signaling significant misstatements.
Hey, remember when Steve Miller insisted there’s nothing illegal about the IRS targeting a particular political faction for extra scrutiny? He was wrong, potentially: There are civil-rights laws in play as well as the Hatch Act, plus some of the IRS’s own regulations for employee conduct. Lois Lerner and her lawyer know the score:
Lois Lerner, the head of the exempt organizations division of the IRS, won’t answer questions about what she knew about the improper screening – or why she didn’t reveal it to Congress, according to a letter from her defense lawyer, William W. Taylor 3rd.
Lerner was scheduled to appear before the House Oversight committee Wednesday.
“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” said a letter by Taylor to committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa, R-Calif. The letter, sent Monday, was obtained Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times…
Since Lerner won’t answer questions, Taylor asked that she be excused from appearing, saying that would “have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her.” There was no immediate word whether the committee will grant her request.
No dice: Darrell Issa’s subpoenaing her anyway, which is precisely the right thing to do. Ask the full slate of questions, many of which will no doubt focus on the endless lies she told when this began two weeks ago, and let her sit there and refuse to answer each one serially on grounds that she might incriminate herself. Let the cable-news viewing public get a good hard dose of that tomorrow and see how it plays. By the way, if you missed Mark Hemingway’s piece yesterday about Lerner’s history at the FEC, correct that now. While there, she went after the Christian Coalition so doggedly (it was ultimately cleared after incurring huge expenses in fighting the agency) that upon hearing she’d moved to the IRS, the group’s lead counsel claims he thought, “Wow, this means the not for profit division is gearing up politically.” And now here we are.
Sometimes its best to just STFU and not say anything as you'll only hang yourself.
While it may be her right to envoke the fifth to not self incriminate herself, to than say she's innocent is laughable.
Lerner you are dismissed if only she could be retroactively dismissed.
So is this lady going to head up the health care exchanges ?