Lois Lerner, director of the IRS division that singled out conservative groups, invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to testify at a House oversight hearing on the scandal.
Things got heated at today's House hearing on the IRS targeting scandal between the two ranking members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Elijah Cummings and Darrell Issa.
Former IRS official Lois Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment again Wednesday morning, refusing to testify before a House hearing held to review IRS targeting of conservative groups. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, adjourned the hearing after Lerner refused to testify.
There are two hearings underway today on Capitol Hill into the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups.
Can Congress force IRS official Lois Lerner to reveal what she knows about the agency’s targeting of Tea Party groups? Judge Andrew Napolitano says that indeed they could by giving Lerner immunity.
House lawmakers just passed a resolution stating that IRS official Lois Lerner forfeited her Fifth Amendment rights by delivering an opening statement in front of Congress.
After IRS officials Gregory Roseman and Lois Lerner both invoked the fifth amendment and refused to answer questions in front of congressional committees, many are asking whether there’s any way to make employees tell Congress what they know.
Judge Andrew Napolitano joined Studio B to weigh in on the controversy surrounding IRS official Lois Lerner pleading the Fifth during a House hearing Wednesday. Lerner invoked her right to remain silent, but it came after she delivered an opening statement. Some argue that her delivery of an opening statement was in fact a waiver of her Fifth Amendment rights.
Here's a statement in to Fox News from the Oversight Committee spokesman:
"After consulting with counsel, Chairman Issa has concluded that Ms. Lerner’s 5th amendment assertion is no longer valid. She remains under subpoena, the Committee is looking at recalling her for testimony."
Issa recessed the hearing yesterday after Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment, so the committee can still recall her to the witness stand.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) was the first to point out that IRS official Lois Lerner had possibly waived her Fifth Amendment privilege at a House hearing by making an opening statement in which she denied any wrongdoing.
Judge Andrew Napolitano explained yesterday that Lerner, who oversaw tax-exempt groups when the IRS was targeting conservative groups, had gotten bad legal advice. He believes she may now have to answer questions that pertain to the opening statement she made.
Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, spoke with Bill Hemmer this morning on America's Newsroom, explaining that he was moved to speak up after Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said he wanted the hearing to be run like a federal court proceeding.
Former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman made 118 trips to the White House between 2010 and 2011, but he claimed in a House hearing yesterday that the IRS's targeting of conservative groups was never discussed on his trips.
Republican lawmakers were flabbergasted, with one going out of his way to make sure Shulman understood that he was under oath. When pressed on why he was at the White House so many times, Shulman gave an example that only fanned the outrage, bringing up the Easter Egg Roll he attended with his family.
IRS official Lois Lerner pled the Fifth at today’s House hearing on the agency’s targeting of Tea Party groups. She didn’t answer any questions, but can her opening remarks come back to haunt her? Judge Andrew Napolitano says that’s quite possible.