Here we go: IRS official Lois Lerner to plead the Fifth at congressional hearing tomorrow

posted at 4:41 pm on May 21, 2013 by Allahpundit

Can’t do better than Popehat’s wry take:

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.

We’re also here, courtesy of Carney’s latest briefing:

Just a day after telling reporters that chief of staff Denis McDonough had learned of the situation about a month ago, press secretary Jay Carney revealed that White House officials had consulted with the IRS on how to initially present to the public the story that the agency had targeted conservative tax-exempt groups for extra scrutiny.

There was “discussion about the possibility of a speech” by Lois Lerner, who oversaw the IRS’s work on tax-exempt groups, Carney said, and conversation about testimony by the acting commissioner of the agency and “what he would say” if asked about the issue…

The press secretary said the Treasury Department worked with Mark Childress, a deputy White House chief of staff.

Day by day, he’s admitting to a bit more White House involvement in stage managing the IG report than he’d previously let on. First he acknowledged that White House counsel had a general heads up on the report in April; then he said Kathryn Ruemmler had been told the key details about targeting conservatives; then he admitted that Ruemmler had told Obama’s chief of staff; now he’s admitting that they chatted with Treasury about how Lerner should go about fake-apologizing to the public. Sure would be nice to hear from her what input she got from Dennis McDonough, but I guess we’ll have to settle for a humiliating pleading o’ the Fifth. And incidentally, is there anyone who still seriously believes that White House senior staff were sufficiently involved in this the past few weeks that they would advise Treasury on how to frame the IG revelations for public consumption, and yet … never once mention it to Obama? Is there any coherent explanation for that apart from deliberately shielding him, even at the expense of keeping him in the dark about key developments in his own administration?

Via the Standard, two lowlights from today’s testimony by former IRS Commission Doug Shulman. He’d like you to know (a) that he’s sad but has nothing to be sorry about, and (b) like everyone else thus far, he simply has no idea who came up with the idea of focusing on conservative groups.



Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Any employee, who takes the Fifth, should either be fired or placed on administrative leave. She CANNOT be left to continue as the head of the Division that is the place where unethical, immoral, unAmerican, and, almost certainly, illegal and unconstitutional behaviour took place.

Resist We Much on May 21, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Outstanding point! It’s one thing to exercise one’s civil rights. That doesn’t mean that doing so means the individual should remain in their job. Stuff happened within Lerner’s division that rose to get the rat-eared coward to declare he was outraged (he wasn’t because he orchestrated this with the union).
Lerner should be removed from her job until she is cleared of any wrongdoing. And we both know that isn’t going to happen.

And at this point it really matters. It is a matter of integrity and faith in government. Miller earlier today admitted that he lied on Friday by telling a Senate hearing that targeting groups was, in fact, partisan. Now we’ve got Lerner pleading the Fifth. And the IRS is poised to become the enforcement agency for Obamacare with a massive database about each and every citizen. Faith and integrity are not going to be coming so long as nobody is fired/convicted from the IRS over this breech of public trust and Constitutional rights.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 5:15 PM

This remindse of another great launch in history….

The Titanic is unsinkable

Obama administration transparent & unsinkable

One goes down in 2 hours and the other in two weeks!

Damn those scandal… I mean icebergs!

Tilly on May 21, 2013 at 5:16 PM

get the popcorn ready folks

cmsinaz on May 21, 2013 at 5:16 PM

This is 4th grade math.

INC on May 21, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Yeah, why bring in advanced work to a group that still can’t comprehend that you can’t spend more than your allowance without going into debt.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 5:16 PM

elijah and friends will still defend her tomorrow natch

cmsinaz on May 21, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Offer her immunity, and then let’s hear what she has to say.

bofh on May 21, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Would have to include witness protection too.

tru2tx on May 21, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 5:05 PM

I could see that as a plausible sequence.
But I also see the first question as possible somewhat along the line of “When did you stop beating your wife?”. By giving an answer to the first question, she has essentially admitted that conservative groups were in fact illegally targeted – by someone.
But I would love to see that line of questioning.

Could be a good drinking game to get really hammered – everyone takes a shot every time she pleads the 5th.

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 5:17 PM

…Or what I think is more likely, she was moved to the IRS position and told directly to go after conservative ankle biting groups. In which case, I would really like to know who was involved in the job transition decision and how far up the chain those discussions went.

parke on May 21, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Does anyone here, ANYONE, truly believe teh won’s camp didn’t orchestrate this? please.

jersey taxpayer on May 21, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Could be a good drinking game to get really hammered – everyone takes a shot every time she pleads the 5th.

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 5:17 PM

If she testifies starting at 9:00, I can picture being trashed by 9:15 if we play that.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 5:18 PM

IRS official to plead the Fifth to avoid embarrassment or burden? But no worries about citizens’ embarrassment or burden while being targeted.

Sarah Palin

kingsjester on May 21, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Here ya go, Del:

Washington Post: Lois Lerner is a registered Democrat, records show

Now, go beat’em silly.

Resist We Much on May 21, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Depends on circumstances. I’m not doing much in conversations with LEOs till I have legal representation.

a capella on May 21, 2013 at 5:06 PM

My concealed carry instructor advised exactly the same thing in the class if we should ever shoot someone – even if it was a perfectly legal and valid shoot.

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Right. Sarah Hall Ingram. Too many IRS tools to keep straight. I need a scorecard.

novaculus on May 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM

[INC on May 21, 2013 at 5:08 PM]

Sorry, INC, I should have linked. I got it from US Office of Personnel Management.

That an archived version, saying it may not be up-to-date, but elsewhere I found that is a Standard Form 61 with the same text and there a no indications I’ve seen that anyone employed by the government is exempted from having to take it.

Dusty on May 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM

What, no Troll defense?

No verby to tell us how harsh we are?

kingsjester on May 21, 2013 at 5:12 PM

I’ve been on a bunch of boards today and the libs are hiding. Maybe they are all in a private Facebook town hall with Obama, Ezra Klein and Co. Their script is still being finessed.

BoxHead1 on May 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Why even appear and waste time? They should just enter that in the records.

Snakes and less slithery.

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2013 at 5:21 PM

BoxHead1 on May 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM

not on politico…they are still defending dear leader and crew to the bitter end….delusional they are

cmsinaz on May 21, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2013 at 5:21 PM

so that she can squirm on tv HOWEVER, cnn and msdnc will focus on OK instead so to avoid the squirm fest….guaranteed

cmsinaz on May 21, 2013 at 5:23 PM

You may be right, I’m the lawyer around here (neither is NP so you know who is). I guess it depends on how the Amendment works, and how Issa asks the questions. I’m thinking, perhaps wrongly, that she can say if she was given an order but can’t be made to say she carried it out.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Generally, if one invokes the 5th, he cannot pick and choose what questions to answer without potentially waiving the privilege against self-incrimination. The 5th, once invoked, should be cited in response to every question.

Resist We Much on May 21, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Truth of life, politicians covet power.

Truth of life, politicians believe that growing government increases their power and therefore seek to do so regardless of political party.

Truth of life not considered, fighting to reduce the size of government increases the political power of the fighter by making them a champion of the public.

The latter message needs to be stressed to our feckless dunderheads in the GOP.

Charlemagne on May 21, 2013 at 5:23 PM

This is 4th grade math. No competency requirements are needed, I suppose.

INC on May 21, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Obviously she’s NOT smarter than a 5th grader…
Maybe she went to Hahhhvaaad with partisan….

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Does anyone here, ANYONE, truly believe teh won’s camp didn’t orchestrate this? please.

jersey taxpayer on May 21, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Fast and Furious
Benghazi cover-up
IRS attack on conservatives
DoJ harassment of journalists

All connected by a single goal… Win the election and clean up the mess afterward. Look at the way they stonewalled Benghazi to the point that Hillary Clinton’s boxes were already packed in the SecState office before she somehow managed to find the strength to leave her deathbed to testify to Congress.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Generally, if one invokes the 5th, he cannot pick and choose what questions to answer without potentially waiving the privilege against self-incrimination. The 5th, once invoked, should be cited in response to every question.

Resist We Much on May 21, 2013 at 5:23 PM

I kinda figured I was missing something. Thanks!

What would I do without ya?

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 5:24 PM

What, no Troll defense?

No verby to tell us how harsh we are?

kingsjester on May 21, 2013 at 5:12 PM

What their defense? HAL has gone full fascist. I don’t know how useful a defense that is.

NotCoach on May 21, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Generally, if one invokes the 5th, he cannot pick and choose what questions to answer without potentially waiving the privilege against self-incrimination. The 5th, once invoked, should be cited in response to every question.

Resist We Much on May 21, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Well maybe I’ll start with that if I should ever get audited.
If it works for the top brass of the IRS, it should work for me…..

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Generally, if one invokes the 5th, he cannot pick and choose what questions to answer without potentially waiving the privilege against self-incrimination. The 5th, once invoked, should be cited in response to every question.

Resist We Much on May 21, 2013 at 5:23 PM

I’m sorry RWM, but I want a better clarification on this point from our resident Harvard Law grad. :P

NotCoach on May 21, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Now I know how a grizzly bear feels when they wander into a salmon pool!

The posts keep getting better and better each day here. All it will take today to break HotGas is throw in a Rand Paul/Ted Cruz/Sarah Palin thread.

It just might tip over.

can_con on May 21, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Correction: I had my names mixed up. Ingram is the one who was in charge of the tax exempt division and is now running Obamacare.

Sarah Hall Ingram, the IRS executive in charge of the tax exempt division in 2010 when it began targeting conservative Tea Party, evangelical and pro-Israel groups for harassment, got more than $100,000 in bonuses between 2009 and 2012.

More recently, Ingram was promoted to serve as director of the tax agency’s Obamacare program office, a position that put her in charge of the vast expansion of the IRS’ regulatory power and staffing in connection with federal health care, ABC reported earlier today.

INC on May 21, 2013 at 5:28 PM

I’ve been on a bunch of boards today and the libs are hiding. Maybe they are all in a private Facebook town hall with Obama, Ezra Klein and Co. Their script is still being finessed.

BoxHead1 on May 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Klein’s next article may be interesting. I wonder if he is really willing to set himself up as an obvious stooge.

NotCoach on May 21, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Snakes and are less slithery

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2013 at 5:28 PM

not on politico…they are still defending dear leader and crew to the bitter end….delusional they are
cmsinaz on May 21, 2013 at 5:22 PM

You’re right. THey are at Politico. But they’ve moved the gaol posts. Now it’s “This doesn’t implicate Obama” instead of “this is not a scandal”.

BoxHead1 on May 21, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Klein’s next article may be interesting. I wonder if he is really willing to set himself up as an obvious stooge.

NotCoach on May 21, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Nothing’s stopped him before.

Lily on May 21, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Now I know how a grizzly bear feels when they wander into a salmon pool!

The posts keep getting better and better each day here. All it will take today to break HotGas is throw in a Rand Paul/Ted Cruz/Sarah Palin thread.

It just might tip over.

can_con on May 21, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Well it’s not Cruz,Paul or Palin news but…Texas is sayin’ FU to Atheists…

“It’s Christmas in May in the Texas Legislature.

The Texas Senate on Friday approved a bipartisan bill that aims to remove legal risks of saying “Merry Christmas” in Texas public schools. Traditional holiday symbols, such as a menorah or nativity scene, would also win a nod of state support so long as more than one religion and a secular symbol are also reflected.

Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, says teachers have been reluctant to say “Merry Christmas” under fear of facing what he calls “frivolous” lawsuits.

“Merry Christmas to you all,” Nichols said when the bill passed.

The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Perry for his consideration.”

http://houston.cbslocal.com/2013/05/21/texas-senate-approves-merry-christmas-bill/

workingclass artist on May 21, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Any employee, who takes the Fifth, should either be fired or placed on administrative leave. She CANNOT be left to continue as the head of the Division that is the place where unethical, immoral, unAmerican, and, almost certainly, illegal and unconstitutional behaviour took place.

[Resist We Much on May 21, 2013 at 4:55 PM ]

I’m probably not going to say this well, but I agree with your assertion she should either be fired or placed on administrative leave (or resign). I’m not willing to agree with the subsequent characterization of your reasoning for the assertion.

As outraged as I am, I’m still allowing for her innocence until proven guilty and your characterization is casts a guilty shadow upon her pleading.

I do however think she can she out to resign or, not doing so, be fired etc, because her pleading is contrary to her oath to faithfully discharge her duties of her office which includes reporting to her superiors with the duty of oversight of her Agency. There is nothing untowards in either direction for taking this step. If she can’t perform her duties, then she needs to leave her position.

Dusty on May 21, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Dusty on May 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM

That’s fascinating and important to know.

It means they’re ALL culpable of violating their oath of office, because if ever anyone did it, it’s this group of federal employees.

INC on May 21, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Nothing’s stopped him before.

Lily on May 21, 2013 at 5:30 PM

True enough. Though this time may be one stooge article too far.

NotCoach on May 21, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Why plead the 5th when she can just answer every question with:

What difference at this point does it make?

ShainS on May 21, 2013 at 5:34 PM

When does the Benny Hill music start?

Key West Reader on May 21, 2013 at 5:34 PM

If she testifies starting at 9:00, I can picture being trashed by 9:15 if we play that.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Well she could disappoint us (again) and actually answer questions but I doubt it. She was the one that personally fast-tracked the bogus Barak H. Obama foundation’s application while telling her people to reject applications from conservative groups. She was the one that said this was nothing more than misbehavior by a couple of low-level employees in Ohio. She’s the one who is going to jail when abuse of power is confirmed.

But just for fun I’d like to see Issa throw in math questions to break up the monotony of “upon advice of counsel I respectfully exercise my Fifth Amendment rights.”

For example, “Ms. Lerner, Your unit has targeted about a quarter of 300 applications for harassment. How many applications has your unit targeted?”

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 5:34 PM

BoxHead1 on May 21, 2013 at 5:30 PM

you are correct there my friend

cmsinaz on May 21, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Next I want to see Colleen Kelley, the IRS employee that runs the greedy-union that Treasury employees all have to belong to. She’s the one that met with Obama ONE DAY before the IRS started blacklisting all conservative applications for tax-exempts.

slickwillie2001 on May 21, 2013 at 5:39 PM

As a work from home-er, I’ve been able to watch or at least listen to all of these hearings.
I’m extremely curious about what the dems plan to ask her, if anything…
they usually use their time to suggest that these entities deserved to be more closely scrutinized. Oy.

pambi on May 21, 2013 at 5:39 PM

THey are at Politico. But they’ve moved the gaol posts. Now it’s “This doesn’t implicate Obama” instead of “this is not a scandal”.

BoxHead1 on May 21, 2013 at 5:30 PM

That’s a good sign actually. It means they are attempting to build a firewall around the rat-eared coward. The left’s position is going to be that Obama would have to been the one who took the kill shot that got Christopher Stevens, wielded the denied stamp at the IRS, or read James Rosen’s personal e-mails for the filthy lying rat-eared coward to be implicated. The fact of the matter is that this goes back to culture of corruption. The rat-eared cowared didn’t have to tell Lois Lerner what to do, she and those around her knew what they were to do without that kind of direct contact.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 5:39 PM

a. She’s afraid of all the lawsuits coming her way from conservative groups.
b. She’s afraid of Obama’s people.
c. She’s afraid of the IRS union people.

albill on May 21, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Offer her immunity. Find out who gave her orders.

Philly on May 21, 2013 at 5:40 PM

As outraged as I am, I’m still allowing for her innocence until proven guilty and your characterization is casts a guilty shadow upon her pleading.

I do however think she can she out to resign or, not doing so, be fired etc, because her pleading is contrary to her oath to faithfully discharge her duties of her office which includes reporting to her superiors with the duty of oversight of her Agency. There is nothing untowards in either direction for taking this step. If she can’t perform her duties, then she needs to leave her position.

Dusty on May 21, 2013 at 5:32 PM

I am not convicting her. I look at it this way: If my employee took the 5th, she would either be fired or placed on administrative leave. I can’t allow someone to hide behind the 5th and, yet, continue on with her duties, especially in a situation involving the public trust.

For example: If you owned a restaurant and your cook was accused of poisoning people and took the 5th, would you continue to allow him to remain in his position pending a resolution of the case? And, if you did, what do you think would happen to your business?

Ms Lerner has every right to take the 5th. No one is claiming otherwise. On the other hand, she is in charge of a division that is under great scrutiny and has generated tremendous distrust amongst the American people. She CANNOT be allowed to remain in that managerial position until she is cleared of wrongdoing. Neither the government nor the taxpayer should allow otherwise. There are more issues at hand that just whether or not Ms Lerner broke the law.

Resist We Much on May 21, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Let the cable-news viewing public get a good hard dose of that tomorrow and see how it plays.

“Those big mean Tea Baggers are being mean to little miss Lois!” \

kirkill on May 21, 2013 at 5:41 PM

You may be right, I’m the lawyer around here (neither is NP so you know who is). I guess it depends on how the Amendment works, and how Issa asks the questions. I’m thinking, perhaps wrongly, that she can say if she was given an order but can’t be made to say she carried it out.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 5:13 PM

The way it works is that once you begin answering any factual questions beyond name and address, the courts will hold that you waived your Fifth Amendment rights, even if answering some of the questions would not or could not incriminate you. In other words, it’s all or nothing at all, black and white.

TXUS on May 21, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Exactly.

Why plead the 5th when she can just answer every question with:

What difference at this point does it make?

ShainS on May 21, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Heh

jersey taxpayer on May 21, 2013 at 5:42 PM

workingclass artist on May 21, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Thanks for a broad smile, today !!!

GOD BLESS TEXAS !!!!! A

pambi on May 21, 2013 at 5:43 PM

INC on May 21, 2013 at 5:11 PM

No that is some other worthless paper pusher. Sandra Hall Ingram.

Ted Torgerson on May 21, 2013 at 5:44 PM

For the first time I am starting to feel like Obama is toast. Lower level bureaucrats pleading the 5th, the White House Counsel involved, it all is eerily similar to how Watergate unfolded.

Old Fritz on May 21, 2013 at 5:45 PM

When does the Benny Hill music start?

Key West Reader on May 21, 2013 at 5:34 PM

God no. I don’t need images of dirty old men chasing this around.

NotCoach on May 21, 2013 at 5:45 PM

I’m extremely curious about what the dems plan to ask her, if anything…

pambi on May 21, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Now that is an ineresting slant. The Dems typically will use their time to ask Ms. Lerner if she likes puppies and kittens or if Honey Boo Boo should have won the overall title after that last competition on Toddlers and Tiaras.

My guess is that the Dems will mostly speak to C-Span with lectures about right-wing witchhunts against career civil servants. No lawyer is going to let Lerner answer any question other than with pleading the Fifth. She can’t make a statement to an softball question from a friendly and then clam up with a follow-up without it looking even worse than if she doesn’t answer at all.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 5:46 PM

No that is some other worthless paper pusher. Sandra Hall Ingram.

Ted Torgerson on May 21, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Yes. I corrected my comment from page 1 further up on page 2 of comments.

Sorry. I didn’t have my corruptocrats straight.

INC on May 21, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Snakes are less slithery

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2013 at 5:28 PM

And I actually like snakes….

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Well it’s not Cruz,Paul or Palin news but…Texas is sayin’ FU to Atheists…

“It’s Christmas in May in the Texas Legislature.

The Texas Senate on Friday approved a bipartisan bill that aims to remove legal risks of saying “Merry Christmas” in Texas public schools. Traditional holiday symbols, such as a menorah or nativity scene, would also win a nod of state support so long as more than one religion and a secular symbol are also reflected.

Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, says teachers have been reluctant to say “Merry Christmas” under fear of facing what he calls “frivolous” lawsuits.

“Merry Christmas to you all,” Nichols said when the bill passed.

The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Perry for his consideration.”

http://houston.cbslocal.com/2013/05/21/texas-senate-approves-merry-christmas-bill/

workingclass artist on May 21, 2013 at 5:31 PM

What wonderful news in today’s corrupt/p.c. gubmint.

Thanks for posting that, artist :)

jersey taxpayer on May 21, 2013 at 5:47 PM

The way it works is that once you begin answering any factual questions beyond name and address, the courts will hold that you waived your Fifth Amendment rights, even if answering some of the questions would not or could not incriminate you. In other words, it’s all or nothing at all, black and white.

TXUS on May 21, 2013 at 5:42 PM

That’s something I didn’t know. Thanks!

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 5:48 PM

That’s fascinating and important to know.

It means they’re ALL culpable of violating their oath of office, because if ever anyone did it, it’s this group of federal employees.

[INC on May 21, 2013 at 5:32 PM]

I thought so, too.

I owe it to having read this elaboration on the Meaning of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” from the Constitution Society.

I was reminded of this point in that post after about the tenth time I saw it reported that someone testifying at the hearings hadn’t been sworn in, as though that might have been an “Ooops!” on the part of the committee, and the same again with the IRS AG report:

An official such as the president does not need to take a special oath to become subject to the penalties of perjury. He took an oath, by Art. II Sec. 1 Cl. 8, to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States” and to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” to the best of his ability. While he holds that office, he is always under oath, and lying at any time constitutes perjury if it is not justified for national security.

If they took this oath upon being hired/appointed and taking their position, then these people are always under oath when acting within their official duties. No additional oaths are necessary when Clinton, Schulman, Hicks, Miller, or anyone else testifies before a Congressional committee.

Dusty on May 21, 2013 at 5:48 PM

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM

The LEO gun class I took from the local sheriff’s office didn’t explicitly teach that. How could they? But the instructor, who was the department SWAT trainer, listed all the reasons to just shut up and get a grip before you answer any questions. Too many stress reactions are happening, too many perceptions are distorted. if you’re pressed, just say you’re upset and need some time to collect yourself. And then take all the time you need.

novaculus on May 21, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Offer her immunity. Find out who gave her orders.

Philly on May 21, 2013 at 5:40 PM

You don’t give immunity to the small fish.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 5:49 PM

it’s all or nothing at all, black and white.

TXUS on May 21, 2013 at 5:42 PM

That sounds terribly racist…..

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Enjoy the popcorn tomorrow, all. Meanwhile, don’t take your focus off the octo banditos.

jersey taxpayer on May 21, 2013 at 5:50 PM

o/t but breaking…

The Justice Department and Fox News’s Phone Records

Posted by Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker

The Obama Justice Department has seized the phone records of numbers that are associated with White House staffers and, apparently, with Fox News reporters, according to a document filed on October 13, 2011, in the case of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a former State Department contractor accused of violating the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking classified information to James Rosen, a Fox News reporter. Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, who is prosecuting the case, has seized records associated with two phone numbers at the White House, at least five numbers associated with Fox News, and one that has the same area code and exchange as Rosen’s personal-cell-phone number (the last four numbers are redacted).

In all, Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, has seized records associated with over thirty different phone numbers. In the filing that included the new information, the last four digits of each telephone line targeted by the Obama Administration is redacted. Two of the numbers begin with area code 202 and the exchange 456, which, according to current and former Administration officials, are used exclusively by the White House. (The phone number for the White House switchboard is (202) 456-1414.)

At least five other numbers targeted by the government include the area code 202 and the exchange 824. The phone number for the Fox News Washington bureau, which is publicly available, is (202) 824-0001. Rosen’s work phone number at Fox News begins with the same area code and exchange.

William Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney, told The New Yorker this afternoon, “Because that information is sealed, I can’t confirm the owner or subscriber for any of those records.” Asked if the phone numbers of any reporters had been targeted in the Kim investigation, Miller said he could not comment.

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that, as part of the investigation of the Kim leak, Obama’s Department of Justice seized e-mails from Rosen’s personal Gmail account. In the search warrant for that request, the government described Rosen as “an aider, and abettor, and / or co-conspirator” in violating the Espionage Act, noting that the crime can be punished by ten years in prison. Rosen was not indicted in the case, but the suggestion in a government document that a reporter could be guilty of espionage for engaging in routine reporting is unprecedented and has alarmed many journalists and civil libertarians.

Continue reading

Resist We Much on May 21, 2013 at 5:51 PM

If they took this oath upon being hired/appointed and taking their position, then these people are always under oath when acting within their official duties. No additional oaths are necessary when Clinton, Schulman, Hicks, Miller, or anyone else testifies before a Congressional committee.

Dusty on May 21, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Every government employee takes an oath when they are hired. It talks about protecting the Constitution. Lerner should be going to jail- which is why she has an attorney to mitigate the damage.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 5:51 PM

So it is ok to infringe on OUR 1st, 2nd, 4th, 9th, and 10th Amendment rights, but the head of the IRS is going to take the 5th? That’s…inconsistent. BTW, try invoking the 5th to the IRS if they are auditing you.

cptacek on May 21, 2013 at 5:52 PM

If I was her attorney my advice would be to take the Fifth too. Silence is golden if you are facing criminal charges. Save your story for when there are twelve people in the jury box or take it to the grave with you.

But I’m not her attorney, I’m just another citizen.

Any government employee who takes the Fifth before Congress should be immediately terminated from their job and barred from all future government employment. If you worked in a bank and some money was missing and you refused to answer any questions from your boss what would he/she do?

They would fire your ass on the spot.

myiq2xu on May 21, 2013 at 5:53 PM

The LEO gun class I took from the local sheriff’s office didn’t explicitly teach that. How could they? But the instructor, who was the department SWAT trainer, listed all the reasons to just shut up and get a grip before you answer any questions. Too many stress reactions are happening, too many perceptions are distorted. if you’re pressed, just say you’re upset and need some time to collect yourself. And then take all the time you need.

novaculus on May 21, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Ya – pretty much the same explanation we got. If you explain what happened too quickly and say something incorrect, then change your story later when you get over the adrenaline rush and collect your thoughts better, they look at the disparity in a bad way.

Obviously a different situation though from a civil servant doing things over a long period of time – and then pleading the 5th.

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 5:53 PM

I just sent my congressman a letter asking that Lois Lerner be fired the instant she refuses to testify about her own official actions. Pleading the 5th is her right, refusing to pay her should be ours.

Metanis on May 21, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Dusty on May 21, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Me wuvs our HotAirians !
Thanks, Dusty … that was pretty cloudy for most of us out here.

pambi on May 21, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Offer her immunity. Find out who gave her orders.

Philly on May 21, 2013 at 5:40 PM

I wouldn’t offer immunity, but instead let her cop to lesser charges and agree to push for a suspended sentence. Then report her to the ethics panel of the Bar Association and leave them to decide their end of the matter.

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 5:54 PM

18 USC § 1001 – Statements or entries generally

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.
(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a party to a judicial proceeding, or that party’s counsel, for statements, representations, writings or documents submitted by such party or counsel to a judge or magistrate in that proceeding.
(c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to—
(1) administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a matter related to the procurement of property or services, personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative branch; or
(2) any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.

So taking the 5th is a crime if you are not guilty of one.

meci on May 21, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Dusty on May 21, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Thanks for that info.

INC on May 21, 2013 at 5:56 PM

BTW, try invoking the 5th to the IRS if they are auditing you.

cptacek on May 21, 2013 at 5:52 PM

I might just try that – now that IRS leaders have set the precedent.

dentarthurdent on May 21, 2013 at 5:59 PM

When I left grad school to join a CPA firm, I was told failure to keep adequate records was unlawful.
So the Intrusive Revenue Service can cop out and claim they have no records of what stunts they tried to pull?

seven on May 21, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Eric Holder has no paper trail or written order he recused himself from that wire tap misunderstanding, why the hell would you think the IRS would keep important records. They put them through the shredder with the constitution.

Fawn Hall could have stuck them in her office planter and walked out with them.

On another note my question to her is this;

Did you get instruction directly or indirectly to target conservative groups through your jurisdiction at the IRS?

Tilly on May 21, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Yes. I corrected my comment from page 1 further up on page 2 of comments.

Sorry. I didn’t have my corruptocrats straight.

INC on May 21, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Understandable. All these low-level rogue employees kinda look alike.

Lily on May 21, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Taking the 5th, huh?

Well that is ONE Leftist who thinks something illegal might have been going on and needs to lawyer up to protect herself from it!

Gotta love how its all ‘nope, nothing illegal going on here’ from others and then, suddenly ‘I’m taking the 5th’.

Why its almost like there is a cover-up or something and someone is about to be exposed. Wonder how that happened?

ajacksonian on May 21, 2013 at 6:05 PM

“She (Lois Lerner) 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 5th Amendment right to not incriminate yourself protects you from self incrimination, but if you’ve not committed a crime how can you incriminate yourself by telling the truth?

The 5th should not protect her from answering politically inconvenient questions that she or Obama don’t want answered.

RJL on May 21, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Few things make a public official look more guilty than pleading the 5th in front of Congress.

JimLennon on May 21, 2013 at 6:07 PM

the lawyer representing this left wing moronette asked that she not appear because it would be embarrassing and burdensome.

now that is what i call audacity squared. These left wing beaurocrats and apparatchik are delighted to embarrass and burden the Other, their enemies until they stfu….but themselves, oh such whiners and complainers. Kinda the definition of our current left wingers. The perpetual victims even as they bully and harass innocent citizens

r keller on May 21, 2013 at 6:08 PM

that would be…bureaucrats

r keller on May 21, 2013 at 6:09 PM

SO, WHO IS PAYING THE EXORBITANT COSTS OF HER VERY, VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE DC LAWYER?

Candidates: the OBOZO regime with taxpayer money, or the IRS (d-cRAT supporting) union (using taxpayer money funneled through employee dues)?

Of course, the difference between these two is – for all practical purposes – indistinguishable.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Lener made history again by become the FIRST REPROBATE EVER to be fired from the federal bureaucracy. (Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. It’s MORE LIKELY she’ll get a promotion and another bonus.)

TeaPartyNation on May 21, 2013 at 6:10 PM

It is UNION TARGETING!!!

The IRS, DOJ, FCC, FTC the whole federal alphabet. The names of who to pick on were being spread between agencies by the local Union chiefs.

barnone on May 21, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Youse senators gotta understan’ Lois Loiner is a legit biznessdame.

Little Boomer on May 21, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Marching Orders

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2013 at 6:15 PM

My guess is that the Dems will mostly speak to C-Span with lectures about right-wing witchhunts against career civil servants. No lawyer is going to let Lerner answer any question other than with pleading the Fifth. She can’t make a statement to an softball question from a friendly and then clam up with a follow-up without it looking even worse than if she doesn’t answer at all.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2013 at 5:46 PM

spot on

cmsinaz on May 21, 2013 at 6:17 PM

There’s nothing fishy about any of this, including the meeting between the Administration and media pundits. /

Liam on May 21, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Why plead the 5th when she can just answer every question with:

What difference at this point does it make?

ShainS on May 21, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Sorry, but I have to add her thoughts if not her actual words.

What difference at this point does it make?
My lord and savior is president! Hallelujah! So you republicans can just ESAD.

PrettyD_Vicious on May 21, 2013 at 6:21 PM

test

cmsinaz on May 21, 2013 at 6:21 PM

[RJL on May 21, 2013 at 6:07 PM]

It’s not as simple as that and in this era of Three Felonies A Day and Ham Sandwich Nation (I’ll look them up if you want, but I don’t have the links right now), I don’t begrudge anyone taking the 5th and giving them a wide berth with the benefit of doubt for now.

I have a lot of respect for Issa, but he’s not the only one with the power to destroy, especially since Congress has little control over DOJ.

Dusty on May 21, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Looking, but I found this:

Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner’s husband’s law firm has strong Obama connections

Resist We Much on May 21, 2013 at 5:12 PM

It’s not what you think, baby.

arnold ziffel on May 21, 2013 at 6:25 PM

cmsinaz

You pass but it will not be of record as we find no donations to the commie Democrats and Pres. Sgt. Shultz of the “I know nothing liberal wing of the White House.”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 21, 2013 at 6:26 PM

So taking the 5th is a crime if you are not guilty of one.

meci on May 21, 2013 at 5:55 PM

That is some wordsmithin’ if there ever was any.

ghostwalker1 on May 21, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Well somebody has to get everyone’s story straight.

ghostwalker1 on May 21, 2013 at 6:28 PM

John Nolte ‏@NolteNC 4m

Democrat Elijah Cummings: Lois Lerner Should Lose Her Job http://shar.es/ZZQ5v

Resist We Much on May 21, 2013 at 6:31 PM

What I want to know is what Lerner was doing in Montreal during Miller’s testimony?

I was at work during a normal work week, but she was in Canada, so she couldn’t testify at that hearing.

barnone on May 21, 2013 at 6:31 PM

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.”

She won’t answer any questions at all?

Fine. Make her plead the Fifth for a couple of hours.

Show the American people an IRS bigwig arrogantly refusing to answer questions about targeting ordinary law abiding people for their political views, activities, and associations.

farsighted on May 21, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3