Lerner negotiating with Oversight for immunity?

posted at 9:21 am on September 25, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Just when we thought Lois Lerner might be safely out of the public spotlight, the House Oversight Committee might reel her back in.  The Daily Caller reports that Lerner’s attorneys are negotiating with the House panel to strike an immunity deal that would restart the hearing session from which she withdrew with an arguably-faulty invocation of her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination:

IRS scandal figure Lois Lerner is negotiating through her lawyers with Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about possibly gaining immunity to testify again in the committee’s investigative hearings.

“The Chairman did not adjourn the hearing, he recessed it. Ms. Lerner remains under subpoena. The Committee has not made any offer of immunity to Ms. Lerner. The Committee has, however, indicated a willingness to listen to any offers from her attorney about what she would testify to if it was offered,” Oversight Committee adviser Ali Ahmad told The Daily Caller. …

Though Lerner, who apologized for her IRS division’s improper scrutiny of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, can be called back before Issa’s committee without immunity, and even arrested if she doesn’t show up, Oversight seems to be taking a more diplomatic approach to get information out of her.

It’s not just a diplomatic effort. Lerner could be compelled to appear again, but she’d just take the Fifth if dragged back into the hearing room, and this time without any added commentary.  Republicans can argue about the defective nature of her first invocation for the next decade, but short of a contempt order, there’s not much they can do about it except to strike her remarks from that previous appearance.  Winning a contempt prosecution is no slam dunk, either, especially since Eric Holder’s Department of Justice would have to take it to court, and there’s little evidence that they would be enthusiastic about doing so.

What would immunity do for Lerner?  So far, she looks like the linchpin in the effort to target conservatives at the IRS on the basis of their politics.  They need her to testify truthfully about who ordered what and when, in order to see if this attack on the administration’s political opponents reaches to presidential appointees or the White House itself.  If she has that kind of information and is willing to testify to it, I think Oversight would trade full immunity for it.  If it turns out that this was all a Lois Lerner Production, though, they’re not going to give her squat. Then again, if that’s all Lerner has, then her attorneys wouldn’t even be bothering to talk to House Oversight’s counsel about immunity.


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They need her to testify truthfully about who ordered what and when, in order to see if this attack on the administration’s political opponents reaches to presidential appointees or the White House itself.

If so, she needs to sing like a bird.

If she has that kind of information and is willing to testify to it, I think Oversight would trade full immunity for it.

And she better get some serious body guards or be prepared for “skeletons” to emerge from her dark closet. Team O doesn’t play nicely.

conservative pilgrim on September 25, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Would love to hear what she has to say…

OmahaConservative on September 25, 2013 at 9:26 AM

And when she testifies, the Left will do everything in its power to destroy her and her family.

Akzed on September 25, 2013 at 9:28 AM

If they offer her immunity she will fall on her sword for the cause and say it was all her idea & she ordered the implementation. Then she will be rewarded with a fat tenured teaching position and high paying speaking engagements.

batterup on September 25, 2013 at 9:30 AM

I would strongly suggest when she’s negotiating the deal to testify with Issa that the House committee lawyers get everything she says she’s going to say down in print and on tape, less they end up with the same result House Democrats had in 1987, when they gave Oliver North immunity without knowing what he was going to say, and simply assuming he was going to do to Reagan what Alexander Butterfield did to Nixon.

jon1979 on September 25, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Would love to hear what she has to say…

OmahaConservative on September 25, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Only if she can bring down bigger fish. Otherwise, prosecute her to the fullest extent of the law. No immunity. No federal pension. A nice stay in a gated community in WV where all the residents wear orange jumpsuits.

Happy Nomad on September 25, 2013 at 9:31 AM

The last couple paragraphs are well considered and the key. If she was the driving force behind this, they’d be giving immunity to the very person they were targeting for prosecution. If they have a sure lead on people in the Administration to go after, she’d be the perfect person to provide testimony on them.

Shame such a key player in an obvious abuse of office would get off scot free.

smoothsailing on September 25, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Happy Nomad on September 25, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Be nice if she could take down Holder…

OmahaConservative on September 25, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Give her Immunity…
Strip her of her Pension…
Giver her no benefits…
And tell her to be happy she’s not going to jail…

& if she doesn’t agree to tell all she knows
Send her @$$ to Gitmo for TERRORIZING Americans!

easyt65 on September 25, 2013 at 9:39 AM

You only offer immunity to an underling to get a bigger fish. If she’s the biggest fish she wouldn’t be negotiating immunity.

rbj on September 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

If they offer her immunity she will fall on her sword for the cause and say it was all her idea & she ordered the implementation. Then she will be rewarded with a fat tenured teaching position and high paying speaking engagements. batterup on September 25, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Stop. Before any deal is struck she would have to actually show her cards. Without knowing exactly what she has to say, there would be no deal.

So if there’s a deal she will spill the beans, both in private and during her testimony, which precludes her ever working for any college or university even as a cafeteria lady.

Akzed on September 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

she will negotiate immunity, and when the day comes to testify it will be “I knows nuttin’” courtesy your friendly neighborhood GOP.

MikeInBA on September 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Former brave female warrior for the left will become a bitter old hag who should be silenced.

Bishop on September 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Stop. Before any deal is struck she would have to actually show her

cards. Without knowing exactly what she has to say, there would be no deal.

So if there’s a deal she will spill the beans, both in private and during her testimony, which precludes her ever working for any college or university even as a cafeteria lady.

Akzed on September 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Youre giving the GOP to much credit. They probably didnt think that far ahead.

MikeInBA on September 25, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Nothing short of public tarring and feathering is acceptable for this buffoon. Of course nothing will happen to her, but one can dream…

Free Indeed on September 25, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Lerner’s negotiating because ultimately her position is weak. She is a central figure in this criminal act and ultimately could face prison time. I would rather lean on the people around Lerner and grant them immunity in order to form the basis for a prosecution of the primary actor.

Ultimately, I doubt she has anything substantive to offer in her negotiation for immunity. Any acceptance of that offer would be purely political and short-sighted. If Issa accepts this arrangement, he should go back to selling used cars.

Marcus Traianus on September 25, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Immunity from what?

/urban elitist

gwelf on September 25, 2013 at 9:44 AM

..maybe ask for a life after in “Lilyhammer”..

The War Planner on September 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM

I find it very hard to believe that Obama’s rich friends have not already made a big financial deal with Lerner to be sure that anything she says does not implicate the president.

georgealbert on September 25, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Boy howdy does Lerner seem like a fun person to be around, look at that mug, all pinched and sallow. Hubby must be either a beta or blind.

Bishop on September 25, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Be nice if she could take down Holder…

OmahaConservative on September 25, 2013 at 9:33 AM

That would be hard to prove. But bringing down Valarie Jarrett and others in the West Wing is probably very easy for her to do. She ultimately got her marching orders somewhere and if not from Obama’s people then who?

Happy Nomad on September 25, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Give her Immunity…
Strip her of her Pension…
Giver her no benefits…
And tell her to be happy she’s not going to jail…

I agree with this but would tag her with some kind of conviction that strips of her voting rights and her testimony would have to snare Holder at minimum and that fellow that had the 100+ visits at the white house that has already retired with his bennies.

DanMan on September 25, 2013 at 9:49 AM

O/T: I just called all three of Kirk’s offices, to vote no on Cloture. They are either not answering (!), or the VMs are full. I have NEVER received a recording when I have telephoned his office. It is useless for me to call Dustbin’s office–a Socialist in Democrat’s clothing.

Maybe Cruz and his speechifyin’ is working!

Keep the pressure on….call your senators’ offices! Local, state, and federal!!

herm2416 on September 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Lerner’s attorneys are negotiating with the House panel to strike an immunity deal that would restart the hearing session from which she withdrew with an arguably-faulty invocation of her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination:

How many attorneys does she have and who is paying for them? I know, I know, that was a rhetorical question.

Johnnyreb on September 25, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Make her immunity results based. If she gives up information that is used to convict higher ups then she gets immunity. If she doesn’t then she should be imprisoned.

HotAirian on September 25, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Boy howdy does Lerner seem like a fun person to be around, look at that mug, all pinched and sallow. Hubby must be either a beta or blind.

Bishop on September 25, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Yeah, but she is trustworthy. Wait…

ghostwalker1 on September 25, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Boy howdy does Lerner seem like a fun person to be around, look at that mug, all pinched and sallow. Hubby must be either a beta or blind.

Bishop on September 25, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I’d vote for blind. How else could anyone sleep with that?

TXUS on September 25, 2013 at 9:59 AM

If she’s asking for immunity then there is a reason for it.

The more important issue is the IRS has not changed what they are doing. I would rather see progress in that area. This is serious effective voter suppression.

TerryW on September 25, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Take the death penalty for treason and that’s it! Promise her a safe maximum security facility for life without the possibility for parole if she rat’s out everyone!
If you find out later she held something back, Gitmo her until the date of her execution.

onomo on September 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

From the article:

Emails released this month show Lerner appearing to collude with Democratic operatives and the Federal Election Commission in targeting tea party groups in 2011.

Slow process and I have lost track of the past info, but seems she was also visiting the Obama White House about once a week. She has also hired big time Washington lawyers … lots of smoke here, and I see someone at the upstairs window trying to get out.

Karmi on September 25, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Lerner’s ties to Malik Obama should trump every other IRS angle, not just because she granted him illegal tax-exempt status but because who Malik is connected to:

http://shoebat.com/2013/05/28/confirmed-barack-obamas-brother-in-bed-with-man-wanted-by-international-criminal-court-icc-for-crimes-against-humanity/

Barrack on September 25, 2013 at 10:15 AM

It’s my opinion that Issa, et al, have all the evidence they need to prosecute those who authorized the shipment of weapons to Mexican Drug Cartels, who authorized the targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups requesting tax exempt status, who gave the order to “stand down” in Benghazi, and all the other scandals being investigated during these Committee Hearings.

We not hearing about the evidence for two reasons:

1. Politics – they are dragging out the investigations and hearings so they have the maximum effect on the 2014 elections in order to secure a greater majority in the House and recapture the Senate. Only then can they get things back on the right track (repealing Obamacare, passing a budget, and the big prize – Impeachment and removal from office of BHO, Holder, and others).

2. Procedure – although you can bet the they have emails, other documentation, and “off the record conversations” from those who were involved in Fast and Furious, IRS targeting, Benghazi, etc, they have to get the evidence introduced under sworn testimony. The WH stonewalling on releasing F&F documents is a case in point. Don’t think for a minute that Issa doesn’t already have a document trail that leads to Holder and BHO, but he can’t use them unless he obtains them through “official” channels, less they be judged to be hearsay or tampered with.

I have confidence that there are many in the government who are as frustrated and disgusted with the current administration as we all are and are providing Issa, et al, with all the ammunition he needs. We just need to patient and let things play out.

GAlpha10 on September 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM

You only offer immunity to an underling to get a bigger fish. If she’s the biggest fish she wouldn’t be negotiating immunity.

rbj on September 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

That’s an optimistic viewpoint.

If I’m accused of something and I know the other side has the goods on me, I’ll try to negotiate immunity, even if I have nothing to give them. Why not? What’s lost for me? The worst that can happen is the negotiations fall through and I’m back under the microscope. Well, that’s where I am without the negotiations, so I haven’t lost anything. And maybe I can convince the other side to go easier on me.

Don’t infer anything about what Lerner may know or be willing to say, just from the fact that immunity negotiations may be in progress.

Chris of Rights on September 25, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Boy howdy does Lerner seem like a fun person to be around, look at that mug, all pinched and sallow. Hubby must be either a beta or blind.

Bishop on September 25, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I’d hit it.

BacaDog on September 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM

I hope Issa takes a lesson from the Iran Contra hearings and Oliver North’s testimony. Find out WHAT she has to offer BEFORE giving her immunity.

kurtzz3 on September 25, 2013 at 10:41 AM

I hope Issa takes a lesson from the Iran Contra hearings and Oliver North’s testimony. Find out WHAT she has to offer BEFORE giving her immunity.

kurtzz3 on September 25, 2013 at 10:41 AM

I expect that in exchange for immunity, Issa will get a deposition detailing clear knowledge of Lerner’s superiors of her actions. Then he will bring her to testify. If she changes her testimony from her deposition, he has her on perjury and the immunity is null and void.

Chris of Rights on September 25, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Make sure if that pig talks that she is lie detector tested about everything. I wouldn’t trust her to tell me that grass was green even if I was looking right at the grass she was talking. They should be burning every one of these IRS scumbags.

bbinfl on September 25, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Lois “Jail Time” Lerner.

2Tru2Tru on September 25, 2013 at 10:55 AM

I can’t buy the fact that she was doing what she did “under protest” but rather firmly believes in the underlying practices regardless of whether she was the top fish or not (it’s in her DNA I think). As such I doubt she will throw anybody under the bus, especially since as noted above, the penalty for failing to so will have to originate with Holder’s DOJ. Recall that this is one of the “phony scandals” that will get dragged on forever until everybody forgets about.

teejk on September 25, 2013 at 11:05 AM

I’d hit it.

BacaDog on September 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM

I hope that was literal.

Free Indeed on September 25, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Boy howdy does Lerner seem like a fun person to be around, look at that mug, all pinched and sallow. Hubby must be either a beta or blind.

Bishop on September 25, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I’ve noticed that she has acquired the arrogant “nose in the air” pose from the REB. Is that a thing with the proggies? Tribute to Benito?

slickwillie2001 on September 25, 2013 at 11:57 AM

If they offer her immunity she will fall on her sword for the cause and say it was all her idea…

I don’t think that is the way it works. I think she will have to agree to testify to certain specifics to get, and keep, immunity.

drunyan8315 on September 25, 2013 at 12:41 PM

I’d hit it.

BacaDog on September 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Incidentally, BacaDog is also fluent in braille.

NapaConservative on September 25, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Hopefully the committee will include Lerner’s part in threatening Al Salvi when he ran against Dick Durbin. It would be great to know the inside story on that, especially since Durbin is up for election in 2014!

KenInIL on September 25, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Now that we are many months into this ‘investigation’ without ANY serious effort to get to the truth only one conclusion is possible.

The establishment of both the Republican and Democratic Parties DO NOT CARE if the Tea Party is attacked, and hopefully DESTROYED, by the IRS!

Freddy on September 25, 2013 at 4:15 PM

When are the Republicans going to get serious about bringing people up on charges they so richly deserve?? For that matter when are they going to bring Obummer and his minions up on charges of treason for Benghazi and any number of other laws that have been shattered during this administration?

azconservativegirl on September 25, 2013 at 4:50 PM