Issa to recall Lerner to testify before Oversight Committee

posted at 2:41 pm on February 26, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Why bring Lois Lerner back to testify now at a House Oversight hearing? Lerner famously — and arguably defectively — took the Fifth Amendment at a previous Oversight hearing in May 2013, after first issuing a statement declaring that she had broken no laws. The committee then ruled her use of the Fifth Amendment invalid, and threatened to haul her back again — where Lerner would likely take the Fifth again. Instead, Oversight has supposedly been negotiating with Lerner’s lawyers to provide testimony in exchange for some sort of immunity.

Those efforts have apparently gone nowhere, and Darrell Issa wants her back in front of the committee next week:

Issa told Lerner’s attorney in a Tuesday letter that he expected the retired IRS official to appear before his committee on March 5. …

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In his letter to William Taylor, Lerner’s attorney, Issa said that her testimony “remains critical to this committee’s investigation.”

“Because the committee explicitly rejected her Fifth Amendment privilege claim, I expect her to provide answers when the hearing reconvenes on March 5,” Issa wrote.

Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings (MD) called this an election-year stunt, which may be a bit offensive of a characterization given the developments on Lerner’s activities since her last appearance nine months ago. At the very least, Lerner should be asked about the “off-plan” attempts to change the rules at IRS in order to allow the agency to go after conservative 501(c)(4) groups. Those rules hadn’t changed in over 50 years, and it’s more than just curiosity to wonder why a political operative like Lerner wanted to make those changes under the radar and avoid any outside scrutiny, especially with the rest of the revelations we’ve seen at IRS.

On the other hand, it doesn’t appear that we can expect much out of Lerner either, unless Issa and Taylor have reconciled over her testimony. Lerner has since retired from the IRS, and she has even less to lose with a Fifth Amendment claim than before. If Issa is calling her without any progress on getting her cooperation, then the word stunt might be applicable, even if it’s not really going to affect anyone’s election — especially in a March 5th appearance.

It might be a good way to highlight the House Republican plan to prevent Lerner’s “off-plan” plans from moving forward, though:

The GOP-led House voted Tuesday to block the IRS from asking about religious, political, or social beliefs, and to require the embattled agency to notify taxpayers when their information has been shared with other government agencies.

The Protecting Taxpayers from Intrusive IRS Requests Act, introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., in the wake of the IRS targeting scandal, would limit what the agency can ask taxpayers and overhaul the process for groups applying for tax-exempt status.

Roskam said IRS efforts to get details on the operations of several conservative groups dating back to early 2010 was a “shameful abuse and a shameful scandal,” The Hill reported.

The House also approved the Taxpayer Transparency and Efficient Audit Act, which would require the IRS to inform taxpayers when the agency has shared their tax information with another government agency and limit IRS audits to one year.

The re-emergence of Lerner, and perhaps especially with another televised recitation of a Fifth Amendment claim from a (former) public servant, might put pressure on Senate Democrats to put an end to these specific abuses at IRS.  If so, then it’s time well spent, “stunt” or not.


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“Madam Lerner, do you wish to refute your previous lies or take the Fifth again?”

viking01 on February 26, 2014 at 2:43 PM

OT: I JUST read that some leftist pimp judge just struck down Texas’s homosexual-marriage ban! WE WILL NOT SUBMIT!!!

annoyinglittletwerp on February 26, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings (MD) called this an election-year stunt,

Henry Waxman did it with far less grist for the mill. Always in an election year. Always in front of a camera.

Happy Nomad on February 26, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Omertà

Del Dolemonte on February 26, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Can we call Obama a Fascist yet?
The Churchills and the Chamberlains got a running bet
The Churchills caught on pretty much from the start
The Chamberlains are running late to pick up even one part
With Obama it’s just one after another dirty Fascist lie
His Reich’s now got it’s Gestapo apparatchik tentacles in everybody’s pie
If the opposition to him in Congress doesn’t in earnest soon start
What’s left of America, you won’t even be able to recognize one part

VorDaj on February 26, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings (MD) called this an election-year stunt,

He’s just being a good little Fascist.

VorDaj on February 26, 2014 at 2:48 PM

She’s had threats according to politico….. awwww

Suck it up buttercup

cmsinaz on February 26, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Doesn’t Issa rhyme with glacier? At least as far as speed and progress are concerned.

platypus on February 26, 2014 at 2:50 PM

viking01 on February 26, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Her invocation of the Fifth was ruled invalid, so I do not believe that she has the option to take the Fifth again.

She can either answer or refuse to answer. If the latter, then I hope that Issa’s committee quickly moves to charge her with contempt of Congress and demands the DoJ prosecute.

Beyond that, the show ends. AG Holder’s DoJ will not prosecute, and the feckless GOP House Leadership, fearing the castigation the lapdog media will give them, will not push on this issue or Holder’s existing contempt of Congress charge for committing perjury regarding Fast & Furious.

The House GOP Leadership will whinge and tell us that they are limited in what they can do because they are only 1/2 of 1/3 of the branches of the federal government.

If this leadership had any will, they would have already formed Joint Select Committees on Fast & Furious, the IRS, Benghazi, and the Obamacare debacle.

Athos on February 26, 2014 at 2:51 PM

and there was much rejoicing meh

Lost in Jersey on February 26, 2014 at 2:51 PM

“Because the committee explicitly rejected her Fifth Amendment privilege claim, I expect her to provide answers when the hearing reconvenes on March 5,” Issa wrote.

She has no Fifth Amendment privilege after she made that statement. Time for her to start talking.

Happy Nomad on February 26, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Issa has so far proved to be a big disappointment. He grabs lots of headlines for looking into various misdeeds and scandals but his investigations never achieve anything.

Chitownmom on February 26, 2014 at 2:52 PM

If you hold her in contempt of congress – isn’t she under house arrest until she testifies?

There is a cell in the basement of congress..

Green_Bay_Packers on February 26, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Throw her in jail if she refuses to answer questions.

Let her stew for30 days, then bring her back again.

Deafdog on February 26, 2014 at 2:54 PM

OT – meanwhile, welcome to the US of Zimbabwe.

Schadenfreude on February 26, 2014 at 2:54 PM

She’s had threats according to politico….. awwww

Suck it up buttercup

cmsinaz on February 26, 2014 at 2:49 PM

How sad, given that she headed up the branch of the Stasi that was out there questioning if conservative groups were saying prayers at their meetings etc. Somebody threatening an ex-IRS agent isn’t exactly at the top of my list of outrages. After all, she could go out and buy a wedding cake.

Happy Nomad on February 26, 2014 at 2:54 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on February 26, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Don’t know why we are wasting time worrying about gay-marriage. When Øbama finally gives us over to the Muslim Brotherhood they are going to get rid of all the gays anyway.

ctmom on February 26, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Throw her in jail if she refuses to answer questions.

Let her stew for30 days, then bring her back again.

Deafdog on February 26, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Repeat till the stain is gone.

Deafdog on February 26, 2014 at 2:54 PM

And what will this accomplish??

Other than a Sharply worded rebuke.

ToddPA on February 26, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Arrest her for contempt if she refuses to testify.

ConstantineXI on February 26, 2014 at 2:56 PM

I realize her taking the 5th was ruled invalid and Barky deserves impeachment.

I’m still waiting for checks and balances to show some teeth without the usual weaseling by pansies Boehner and McConnell or vain Supremes.

viking01 on February 26, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Yepper HD

cmsinaz on February 26, 2014 at 2:58 PM

I’m sure she’s quaking in her stylish, taxpayer-subsidized shoes.

rrpjr on February 26, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

John the Libertarian on February 26, 2014 at 3:02 PM

How can you take the Fifth when there isn’t even a smidgen of corruption?

rbj on February 26, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Valid criticism is not negative advertising just as holding someone accountable for wrongs they have done is not a political stunt.

Ukiah on February 26, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Athos on February 26, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Sad, but true. Everything you said.

Bob Davis on February 26, 2014 at 3:03 PM

She’s had threats according to politico….. awwww

Suck it up buttercup

cmsinaz on February 26, 2014 at 2:49 PM

I believe she’d be much safer in prison.

BTW I hope those threats scare the living hell out of her since she made a living out of threatening citizens.

antipc on February 26, 2014 at 3:06 PM

How can you take the Fifth when there isn’t even a smidgen of corruption?

rbj on February 26, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Probably when some corrupt judge forces you to do business with cronies of his against your will.

viking01 on February 26, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Safer in prison?

James MacDougal sure wasn’t safer in prison with his evidence against Killary…

viking01 on February 26, 2014 at 3:08 PM

If Issa is calling her without any progress on getting her cooperation, then the word stunt might be applicable, even if it’s not really going to affect anyone’s election — especially in a March 5th appearance.

I think they have to recall her, subject her to questioning, and have her refuse before they can move to have her held in contempt and take it to the courts. At the last hearing there were questions regarding whether a valid invocation of the Fifth Amendment rights had been made. Since then they determined she waived those rights by making a series of allegations before she invoked them. You can’t make self-serving statements and then refuse to answer questions regarding those statements by invoking the Fifth Amendment privilege. Her statements were very broad in nature, and would include virtually the entirety of her actions in the IRS.

No reason to grant immunity if they can now force her testimony without it. Justice requires this woman spend time in a federal pen.

novaculus on February 26, 2014 at 3:10 PM

“Because the committee explicitly rejected her Fifth Amendment privilege claim, I expect her to provide answers when the hearing reconvenes on March 5,” Issa wrote.
==================

Boyo, is this going to Royally p*ss-off Democrats!

canopfor on February 26, 2014 at 3:10 PM

She will take the 5th of course. It’s a no-brainer.

And it would be a huge mistake to grant her immunity before we know more about all these schemes. Given her background and antics at FEC, it is probable she is a very major player in the schemes.

A real investigation may have to wait until we have the Senate, too – and maybe even the White House. Fortunately, many of these acts will still be within the statute of limitations.

~~~~

But “put pressure on Senate Democrats” to pass reforms? Are you stupid? Harry Reid doesn’t give a poop about your “pressure.” If he doesn’t want it to come to a vote, it won’t. Period.

Adjoran on February 26, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Speaking of Democrats:

Two members of Congress subpoenaed in nursing homes’ fight with SEIU
By Tim Mak
FEBRUARY 26, 2014 AT 5:16 AM
****************************

Two senior lawmakers from Connecticut have been subpoenaed in a civil racketeering case involving nursing homes and the SEIU, the Washington Examiner has learned.

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., have been pulled into a lawsuit between two local chapters of the Service Employees International Union, which represent health care workers, and nursing homes. At issue is whether a campaign to pressure the management of the nursing homes during labor disputes crossed the line into extortion.
(More……….)
================

http://washingtonexaminer.com/two-members-of-congress-subpoenaed-in-nursing-homes-fight-with-seiu/article/2544646

canopfor on February 26, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Lerner’s a Dem operative, McDougal was a threat Clinton machine.

I like her changes in the pen.

antipc on February 26, 2014 at 3:15 PM

She wont.

TX-96 on February 26, 2014 at 3:19 PM

We need Resist We Much to give her clear, concise legal opinions. Why has she abandoned us?

AppraisHer on February 26, 2014 at 3:20 PM

How will a contempt charge hurt her? She’s got Holder to run interference for her for two years and Obama with a presidential pardon, if it comes to that, at the end.

butch on February 26, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Yepper antipc

cmsinaz on February 26, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

John the Libertarian on February 26, 2014 at 3:02 PM

That’s not how it works when you leave government service. You collect your original $200 WHILE IN JAIL, and then get it increased repeatedly and repeatedly through various machinations and mechanisms.

That’s if you even go to jail at all for your illegal actions.

xNavigator on February 26, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Susan MacDougal kept her mouth zipped despite jail for contempt and eventually got a pass.

I expect Lerner expects the same from Barky and sleazy Eric Holder.

viking01 on February 26, 2014 at 3:31 PM

I like her changes in the pen.

antipc on February 26, 2014 at 3:15 PM

chances

#&%@*$%$ $%*@&%#

antipc on February 26, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Just think, if she hadn’t “retired” she could still be raking in paid leave like molester-teachers do.

viking01 on February 26, 2014 at 3:32 PM

This will be a show trial, nothing will be uncovered and nothing will be done. Issa has had hearings about this, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, etc before and nothing has every been done. No one goes to prison , gets fired or is held accountable. They get promoted, transferred or retire with full benefits. I hope I am wrong but I just see the same result from this hearing just like the others. This is just a waste of time and money unless they can send these criminals to prison and strip them of all their benefits.

One_If_By_Land on February 26, 2014 at 3:36 PM

If she had pulled this crap with liberals, such as SEIU or other unions, you can bet her personal info would be all over the web, plus all her family’s info and there would be real threats being made on her life. These people do not fear the right at all.

Flange on February 26, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Hold her incompetent by letting her sit in a county jail cell for a few days. After another inmates makes her, their “bitch”, she may have a little more to say.

Tater Salad on February 26, 2014 at 3:42 PM

might put pressure on Senate Democrats to put an end to these specific abuses at IRS. If so, then it’s time well spent, “stunt” or not.

What happened to “justice”?

No Chop Charlie on February 26, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Just so long as they don’t take the sucker’s bet of immunity.

Immunity is the quickest way to get her to say she was the only federal official involved in activities for which she then could not be prosecuted, and the administration will wash her hands of her and declare no further need to address IRS “corruption”.

The Schaef on February 26, 2014 at 3:47 PM

**************** Immunity Alert ********************!!

IRS flagged conservative political groups
2m
Former IRS official Lois Lerner will testify about the IRS handling of Tea Party cases only in exchange for an immunity agreement, her lawyer told a congressional committee – @USATODAY
read more on usatoday.com
===========================
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/02/26/lois-lerner-wants-immunity-in-exchange-for-irs-testimony/5834321/

canopfor on February 26, 2014 at 3:50 PM

The penalty should be instant beheading. No questions, no pleading the fifth, just slice her head right off. It should be illegal for any member of government to plead the fifth.

F_This on February 26, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Whatever. Issa’s worthless; proven time and time again. Lost any faith in his kabuki every yielding anything of actual consequence.

Midas on February 26, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Didn’t this heroic guardian of our freedom just go up to New Hampshire to check things out for his political future?

Don L on February 26, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Someone at HA suggested this when Lois Lerner first testified.
To the effect that: If you are a Federal Employee and you invoke your Fifth Amendment ‘privileges’ against self-incrimination, you immediately forfeit your salary and pension benefits.

Missilengr on February 26, 2014 at 4:35 PM

…like everyone has said here…SOS!…nothingburger will happen!

KOOLAID2 on February 26, 2014 at 4:47 PM

I’ll take “Cunning Stunts” for $800 Alex.

pain train on February 26, 2014 at 4:48 PM

A little red meat for the base of the GOP. nothing ever happens. The oligarch class is cemented in place and one hand washes the other. They need to be forcibly displaced.

Murphy9 on February 26, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Lerner’s testimony will consist of 1 sentence…

“WHAT DIFFERENCE, AT THIS POINT, DOES IT MAKE?!?!?!?!”

…followed by a reassertion of her Fifth Amendment protections…

H/T

Athos on February 26, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Lerner’s testimony will consist of 1 sentence…

“WHAT DIFFERENCE, AT THIS POINT, DOES IT MAKE?!?!?!?!”

…followed by a reassertion of her Fifth Amendment protections…

H/T

Athos on February 26, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Maybe she can borrow Hillary’s coke-bottle glasses, cross her eyes and bounce up and down in her chair when she screams that out?

slickwillie2001 on February 26, 2014 at 6:27 PM

“stunt” or not.

It’s Darrell “the Closer” Issa. Do you have to ask? This guy is zero for (how many?)…

bofh on February 26, 2014 at 6:39 PM

One can only hope that someone will duct-tape Elijah Cummings’ mouth shut.

Or provide a BULLSHIT! scoop so that he can clean up his own mess.

GarandFan on February 26, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Remember last YEAR when the Republicans insisted that it would take too loong for a ‘Special Prosecutor’ to get to the bottom of this IRS situation?

As we roll into the second year, and the 4th year of IRS harassment, I have no doubt that the GOP will do NOTHING to stop the harassment of their HATED Tea Party rivals.

This is the ‘beltway elite’ vs ‘We the People’. Look for many audits and harassment of ANY citizen that dares to try to stop them!

Freddy on February 27, 2014 at 12:44 AM