Lois Lerner definitely will or will not testify before Congress

posted at 5:01 pm on March 2, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

There was a brief bit of non-Ukraine related excitement in political circles this weekend when Congressman Darrell Issa announced that Lois Lerner – of IRS, Why I Would Never Target the Tea Party, But I’ll Take the Fifth fame – would be making a return engagement in DC following her impromptu retirement. The reason? She was finally going to testify.

Lois Lerner, former director of tax exempt organizations for the IRS, will testify this week on Capitol Hill, Rep. Darrell Issa said Sunday.

Issa said he received word from Lerner’s attorney that she will provide testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about her role in potentially unfair targeting of certain political groups by the IRS.

The excitement may have been both premature and short lived, however. This, according to Lerner’s attorney.

Rep. Darrell Issa doesn’t know what he’s talking about, the attorney for former IRS official Lois Lerner said Sunday.

Issa, the California Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee, told “Fox News Sunday” that Lerner, the former head of the IRS tax-exempt division, would testify before his committee Wednesday, which he said he had been told by her attorney.

That attorney, William W. Taylor, said Issa is wrong.

“As of now, she intends to continue to assert her Fifth Amendment rights,” Taylor told POLITICO. “I do not know why Issa said what he said.”

This raises some interesting questions, no matter how it turns out. Issa is not prone to sudden fits of fantasy or baseless enthusiasm, at least from his previous, lengthy track record. There had to have been some sort of communications going back and forth between Issa’s people and Lerner or one of her minions. I’d submit that one of two things happened to ramp this up to the level of a perhaps premature announcement.

The first possibility is that new evidence has come to light during ongoing investigations – perhaps a new witness who decided to testify with inside information not previously heard – which put enough of a scare into Lerner that she reconsidered. If that were the case, most likely some form of Limited immunity would have been floated for her to seal the deal. But in that scenario, the news would have to have been fairly damning to scare Lerner off of her 5th amendment perch. (A position I never thought she deserved in the first place, as I wrote last year.)

The other option is that there wasn’t anything new, but Issa had grown tired of waiting and let Lerner know that he could serve up a complete immunity deal, calling the wolves away from her gate and potentially opening up doors for her to peddle her story to highest bidder. Either way, the incentive was probably there for her to come to the table.

So what made the deal fall apart after Issa already let CNN in on it? Pitch in your own ideas. It could be anything from a case of cold feet to confidants approaching her to advise against it. If we really wanted to delve into tinfoil hat territory, it could have been a feint to get Issa to go public and then spurn him in the press to make him look bad. But to what point?

If there’s really any fire under this puff of smoke I expect we’ll find out in the coming days. And if Issa goes through with hauling her in on Wednesday, odds are that he’s got more up his sleeve than just a rehash of the same song and dance she delivered last time.


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No need to plead the 5th when all she has to do is answer every question with:

“What difference, at this point, does it make?”

ShainS on March 2, 2014 at 5:02 PM

God, she’s one ugly broad.

lostmotherland on February 26, 2014 at 4:09 PM

slickwillie2001 on March 2, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Sure, go ahead…testify…by the way, nice family you got there, be a shame if something were to happen to them don’t ya know…

Severian on March 2, 2014 at 5:06 PM

And the beat goes on, and on, and on, and on……..
Do something already………..

LeftCoastRight on March 2, 2014 at 5:07 PM

They need to build a jail under the House for those found in Contempt of Congress. Lois Lerner and Eric Witholder can share a cell.

ConstantineXI on March 2, 2014 at 5:08 PM

How about a phone call from Valerie Jarrett. “Don’t worry, Eric Holder has your back!”

Congress can file anything it wants. Congress isn’t the DOJ.

GarandFan on March 2, 2014 at 5:09 PM

They need to build a jail under the House for those found in Contempt of Congress. Lois Lerner and Eric Witholder can share a cell.

ConstantineXI on March 2, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Their already is one, they just need a jailer.

RickB on March 2, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Of course, the attorneys will have all this worked out before it happens, but …

Have her show up at the hearing. Let her assert her Fifth Amendment rights, for show. Then grant her immunity, and let her testify.

I know, I’m dreaming, but it was a nice dream.

Alien on March 2, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Issa isn’t going into a national Sunday talk show with “breaking news” that Lerner will testify if it is all a bluff.

My guess is somebody from the administration got to Lerner and let her know just what would happen should she rat out the way the IRS targeted anti-Obama and anti-Dem groups.

No big deal because she wouldn’t have really told the truth anyway. It would have been all about process and inadvertant targeting of certain political groups due to unfortunate wording of directives.

Happy Nomad on March 2, 2014 at 5:13 PM

They need to bring her back in because they left the issue of privilege hanging. They’re going to tell her they’ve decided she waived the privilege with her exculpatory statements made prior to asserting it, she’s going to assert the privilege anyway, and then they can go forward with contempt proceedings.

novaculus on March 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Their already is one, they just need a jailer.

RickB on March 2, 2014 at 5:10 PM

For once in his pathetic miserable life the rat-eared wonder could actually create a job!

Happy Nomad on March 2, 2014 at 5:15 PM

They need to bring her back in because they left the issue of privilege hanging. They’re going to tell her they’ve decided she waived the privilege with her exculpatory statements made prior to asserting it, she’s going to assert the privilege anyway, and then they can go forward with contempt proceedings.

novaculus on March 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Hopefully only after a long string of questions where the whore has to make the statement-

On the advice of counsel, I respectfully invoke my Fifth Amendement rights against self-incrimination.

Happy Nomad on March 2, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Issa did say that the committee voted that her pleading the 5th was void based on her opening statement. She can plead it again but it will not stand based on her already saying she did nothing wrong. The paperwork for Contempt of congress charges are already typed up.

tjexcite on March 2, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Well, if push comes to shove there’s a kind of heavy paper called ‘patent office board’ that’d be ideal for a stiff letter. We could all chip in and buy Issa a pack.

PersonFromPorlock on March 2, 2014 at 5:23 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

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Screw Lerner. She should be in prison by now.

TX-96 on March 2, 2014 at 5:26 PM

She’s decided she cannot go into the Witness Protection Program because her mug is too well known.

tru2tx on March 2, 2014 at 5:39 PM

He can’t let his own ego get in the way.

tomas on March 2, 2014 at 5:44 PM

You guys don’t do tin foil very well. I submit the White House, having heard she would testify, put the thumb screws on and told her that she would be protected from the highest levels if she just pleaded the 5th and didn’t testify.

I’m not sure what Lerner knows but I do remember her association with Dick Durbin and what she pulled in Illinois, it would indicate she’s really comfortable with being on the edge of unethical. I’m sure she was really comfortable, doing what she did at IRS, knowing she would be protected. All I’m waiting for is the first sympathy story from the press telling the world how the Republicans are looking for a scapegoat and Lois Lerner, who before being involved with taxes was in a convent, is the one they picked.

bflat879 on March 2, 2014 at 5:46 PM

An offer of Immunity is useless. She will just say “OK, I did it. All alone. No one else knew or helped.” Case closed.

bofh on March 2, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Whatever.

Call me when Issa actually produces a result.

Midas on March 2, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Sure, go ahead…testify…by the way, nice family you got there, be a shame if something were to happen to them don’t ya know…

Severian on March 2, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Does she have family? I always envision these old prog ladies as spinsters that are forever angry because they weren’t blessed with good looks and a husband and family.

slickwillie2001 on March 2, 2014 at 5:51 PM

An offer of Immunity is useless. She will just say “OK, I did it. All alone. No one else knew or helped.” Case closed.

bofh on March 2, 2014 at 5:46 PM

An offer of immunity is for what happened from that point and into the past, it will not cover future acts, for example perjury.

slickwillie2001 on March 2, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Special prosecutor!

Viator on March 2, 2014 at 5:56 PM

canopfor on March 2, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Her lawyer is not only incompetent, he whines like a tool who just had a blowtorch turned on his a$$. You know, to get his attention.

novaculus on March 2, 2014 at 5:56 PM

From Twitter:

Peter Doocy ‏@pdoocy 4h
Oversight Cmte says Lois Lerner is ready to testify—but wants a 1 wk delay. they told her to ask for it when she appears on Weds

Has this been refuted?

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on March 2, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Give her 2 choices: Testify and the witness protection program, or don’t testify and Leavenworth for the next 20 years.

Ruckus_Tom on March 2, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Third possibility. Someone from the White House “reached out to her “.

Techster64 on March 2, 2014 at 6:05 PM

At this point, what difference does it make????

Obama is going to pardon everyone on his way out anyway….

The key is – how will they pay Obama off after he is out of office?

Bitcoin???

redguy on March 2, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Give her 2 choices: Testify and the witness protection program, or don’t testify and Leavenworth for the next 20 years.

Ruckus_Tom on March 2, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Congress can’t sentence anyone….first the DOJ would have to indict Lerner and convict her….
Eric Holder is in charge of the DOJ, so that won’t happen….

I think we will have to wait until we have a conservative President and a new AJ.

But Obama will pardon Lerner anyway……so I predict she will cop a plea and won’t serve
anytime because it will be over on Jan 19th 2017.

redguy on March 2, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Congress can’t sentence anyone….first the DOJ would have to indict Lerner and convict her….
Eric Holder is in charge of the DOJ, so that won’t happen….

I think we will have to wait until we have a conservative President and a new AJ.

But Obama will pardon Lerner anyway……so I predict she will cop a plea and won’t serve
anytime because it will be over on Jan 19th 2017.

redguy on March 2, 2014 at 6:10 PM

…there you go! ^

KOOLAID2 on March 2, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Yet more oba-mao administration criminality….. These people need to be in prison.

ultracon on March 2, 2014 at 6:28 PM

And the beat goes on, and on, and on, and on……..
Do something already………..

LeftCoastRight on March 2, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Why would they??

They will never do AYTHING. They are convinced that if
they are tough with Dems they will send all the Independents
RUNNING to vote for Dems.

The Democrat Party knows this…..the media knows this…

Nothing like a P*ssy whipped Political Party that has
their Lunch money stolen every day, of every year..

ToddPA on March 2, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Unless the House has means to clap her in stocks and put her out for the public to chuck eggs at, my guess is that she won’t say a word.

And if they do have this authority, then we ought to have half the Obama Cabinet stretched out along the Mall, what are they waiting for? I’d pay $50 admission and $10 each to chuck tomatoes at Lisa Jackson. I’d bring my own bricks for Holder.

JEM on March 2, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Ah he11 just shoot her if she refuses to testify.

Rio Linda Refugee on March 2, 2014 at 6:48 PM

So what made the deal fall apart after Issa already let CNN in on it?

LOIS! NSA? I USE THEM! THINK! BARRACK!

ConcealedKerry on March 2, 2014 at 6:51 PM

they’ve gotten nowhere with this IRS thing, they had to offer this wretched hag immunity to move things forward

I’m guessing she’ll take the immunity, then fall on the sword

And of course, the media will ignore her whole testimony regardless

thurman on March 2, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Their already is one, they just need a jailer.

RickB on March 2, 2014 at 5:10 PM

For once in his pathetic miserable life the rat-eared wonder could actually create a job!

Happy Nomad on March 2, 2014 at 5:15 PM

I’d take that job for free.

CurtZHP on March 2, 2014 at 6:56 PM

I do know that some of the ones working with Issa said plainly there would be no immunity unless they knew exactly what she was going to testify to…simple as that, so it might made her reconsider.

It is still mind-boggling she could make her long statement and then refuse to actually testify hiding behind a constitutional right to not incriminate one’s self…if you have done nothing wrong, as she contends, then she cannot incriminate herself, especially not when giving testimony that is not part of a judicial proceeding. I could not find that one in any of my law books. Oh well, all they can do is find her in comptempt of Congress and levy a fine against her that matches her income from her pension – that might loosen her up a bit.

evie1949 on March 2, 2014 at 7:00 PM

I’m guessing she’ll take the immunity, then fall on the sword

And of course, the media will ignore her whole testimony regardless

thurman on March 2, 2014 at 6:52 PM

but she still can’t perjure herself. we know her contacts, her meetings, we have her emails, her letters and we know senators like Schumer and Levin who urged the IRS to go after the tea-party types. if she tries to fall on her sword she’ll be sticking other folks with her and all their promises of granting her a comfortable afterlife won’t protect them.

gracie on March 2, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Gee…why would she change her mind? This sounds like something Andrew Breitbart should look into!

Kenz on March 2, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Perhaps Lois just acquired a nice predated , signed presidential pardon? The paperwork could have ben handled by Holder, he’s had some experience with getting pardons for criminals.

butch on March 2, 2014 at 7:58 PM

She and the MSM keeps saying that she hasn’t broken any laws, she’s done nothing wrong and that there’s no story here. Then why does she want full immunity? Immunity from what?

RMCS_USN on March 2, 2014 at 8:48 PM

The Tea Party should bus in protestors to march in front of her house like the lefties did to the banker in Maryland after the financial crisis in 2008. IIRC the Montgomery County police were there but stood by and watched and the protestors scared the guy’s young children who were home at the time.

Dollars to donuts Lois Lerner lives in one of the Maryland suburbs of DC.

Angineer on March 2, 2014 at 9:13 PM

The Tea Party should bus in protestors to march in front of her house like the lefties did to the banker in Maryland after the financial crisis in 2008. IIRC the Montgomery County police were there but stood by and watched and the protestors scared the guy’s young children who were home at the time.

Dollars to donuts Lois Lerner lives in one of the Maryland suburbs of DC.

Angineer on March 2, 2014 at 9:13 PM

There’s a huge double standard in operation re what local authorities will and will not allow. If conservatives tried this they would all be arrested, called brownshirts, and prosecuted for some civil-rights charge that Eric Holder would pull out of his butt.

slickwillie2001 on March 2, 2014 at 9:23 PM

The SEIU bussed in protestors to the house of a Bank of America executive. The incident was reported by Hotair at the time in May 2010.

Angineer on March 2, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Generally if protestors keep moving on a sidewalk the are just passersby. It would make for good theater though wouldn’t it?

Angineer on March 2, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Sorry.

…they are just passersby.

Angineer on March 2, 2014 at 9:33 PM

I don’t think Issa would give her immunity unless she can testify that she had direction from a superior. She’s just one of the many criminals that this transparent administration has brought us. An even greater crime is that bureaucrats like Lerner have created a system so complex that we have to hire accountants or buy software to help us stay in compliance with our own government. Don’t think these folks aren’t going through opponents tax returns. Didn’t dirt bag Schumer have staffers going through Michael Steeles tax and personal info years ago?

tte415f on March 2, 2014 at 9:40 PM

she heard two words from the WH “Vince Foster”

Mini-14 on March 2, 2014 at 9:51 PM

Unless the sackless GOP actually grows a pair and finds the courage to pursue impeachment, none of this, no scandal, no lawlessness, none of it, means a damn thing.

They can investigate until they’re blue in the face. Obamism and his entire Marxist regime all know they don’t have the stones to do anything about anything.

Meople on March 2, 2014 at 10:16 PM

Lerner would be crazy to testify without immunity since it is known she is in the middle of targeting Republicans and conservatives – as she also was in her previous stint at FEC, which seemed to be her main qualification for her IRS job.

The House would be crazy to offer her immunity for the same reason. Unless she tenders a proffer of testimony damning to Shulman and/or Obama or someone high in the White House, she may well be the main player in the whole thing.

As several observers have postulated, there may be no real “smoking gun,” but rather the public statements by Obama and others in reaction to the 2010 Citizens United decision at SCOTUS may have been enough of a signal to the troops, especially those so predisposed like Lerner. It’s like Henry II’s “bothersome priest” remark that led to the assassination of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Adjoran on March 2, 2014 at 10:48 PM

Who do you believe, the lawyer or the politician?

That’s a toughie…..

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 3, 2014 at 12:25 AM

Okay, in this case, it’s not really tough. Lois Lerner’s lying, nd Lois Lerner’s lying lawyer is lying.

They had to have told Issa that she would testify. If that’s suddenly changed, then it means she a) got a better offer, as in “we’ll protect you as long as you’re a team player,” or b) got a bigger threat, as in “don’t sell us out, or you’ll regret it for the rest of your short and miserable life.”

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 3, 2014 at 12:35 AM

This b!t@h should be in JAIL!

easyt65 on March 3, 2014 at 7:41 AM

This is just so much Republican theatre. Issa has gotten nowhere and neither has the Republican investigation of Benghazi.

People in Ohio have been asking Speaker Boehner to appoint select committees with subpoena power for more than a year. He refuses to do it. Establishment Republicans, at least, are not interested in getting to the truth on either scandal as people like Mark Levin have made absolutely clear. Notice the RINOs at HA haven’t pushed hard for this either.

Falcon46 on March 3, 2014 at 11:25 AM

An offer of immunity is for what happened from that point and into the past, it will not cover future acts, for example perjury.

slickwillie2001 on March 2, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Not only that, if perjury can be proven she loses all immunity for past acts as well.

taznar on March 3, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Crickets.

I’m thinking she was in Hillary’s kitchen baking cookies…

bigbeachbird on March 3, 2014 at 1:04 PM

My guess is that, after the news of Lerner agreeing to testify broke, Valerie Jarrett telephoned her and issued a not-too-subtle threat.

Colony14 on March 3, 2014 at 7:57 PM