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Lois Lerner of the IRS Takes the Fifth

Lois Lerner, the IRS official who was in charge of the division that targeted conservative groups, refused to testify before the House Oversight Committee today, invoking her Fifth Amendment rights.

But Lerner asserted that she was guilty of no misconduct or crimes.

“I have not done anything wrong,” Lerner said. “I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.  And while I would very much like to answer your committee’s questions today, I have been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify or answer questions related to the subject matter of this hearing.”

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70 Responses to Lois Lerner of the IRS Takes the Fifth

  1. I need someone to explain constitutional law to me. I thought evoking the 5th was to protect yourself from being incriminated,but how does it stop you from testifying on everything else? Is there a way to compel someone to testify against someone else?

    • If there is no crime she might be incriminating herself for, then why do this? This gets sleazier by the second as it laps closer to the feet of you know whom.

    • The problem is that if you answer one question, the answer will be deemed to waive your right to refuse to answer another questsion and, if you answer that seond question, etc. It’s known as subject matter waiver.

      However, by asserting she did nothing wrong in so many areas, she may have waived her rights. At least I hope so.

      She is probably worried about a perjury charge. I agree with the person above that she is probably seeking some form of immunity.

  2. She may be trying to portray herself as the victim of a witch hunt, and how ironic because the conservatives targeted by the IRS were the real object by an IRS (Democratic?) witch hunt. She is painting the Congress as the bad guys here.

  3. If she has indeed not broken any laws or regulations and has not perjured herself, then she has no right to not testify. The Fifth Amendment provides the right to avoid self-incrimination. It does not provide the blanket option of not responding to questions just because one doesn’t feel like answering.

    We are going to find this scandal goes all the way to the Oval Office. Who had more to gain by squashing the opposition than Obama? Who is better a Chicago-style thuggery than Obama and his staff? (Remember, all this started when our good friend and chief Chicago thug Rahm Emmanuel was still Chief of Staff.)

    I predict a parade of people taking the Fifth in official testimony and then taking to the airwaves to proclaim their innocence, in the manner of Lois Lerner. The new accountability, only acceptable for the Obama Administration.

  4. If you haven’t violated any laws, then why plead the Fifth, which means you can the right not to incriminate yourself in a criminal act. IMO, this was a criminal act which may have affected the Presidential election as well as violating many citizens rights to equal protection under the law.

  5. White I know she probably is scared and doesn’t want to take the heat for a decision made by her superiors, I’m reminded of what my daddy useta’ tell us: If you lie down with dogs, don’t complain if you get up with fleas.

  6. Lerner asserted her innocence in her opening statement, then took the Fifth. Then Darryl Issa said, “I believe you have not asserted your rights but have effectively waived your rights” and took her refusal to answer as a refusal to testify. So where do we go from here? Contempt of Congress? These Democrats sure know how to mangle the intent of the Constitution.

    • Yeah, this sure is starting to look like a show trial. Issa lets this obvious Obama true believer go after Trey Gowdy correctly showed she waived her 5th Amendment claim after making her opening statement saying she didn’t do anything wrong. Then when another congressman asked about bringing in some of the groups who were harmed, Issa hemmed and hawed and shuffled his feet. Disappointing. This will go the way of Fast and Furious.

  7. It’s sad really. [Cryface] There are many able govt employees with good judgment, work ethics, and so on. It’s fun to collect big bonuses, plaques, go on posh retreats, dine with industry types, and make thousands of pages of regs and policy, but just try to gloss over something for ONE president, and it all goes in the dumper.

    • She seems like a fast lerner (heh) and pulled-together woman, does she not know this Fifth deal makes this much worse. She should have mooshed it like Pfeiffer. Just rope-a-dope and confuse until people go screaming into the night.

    • I briefly heard on F&F this morning about an IRS employee who put about $8,000.00 of personal expenses on her government credit card.

  8. When preparing my next tax return, I think I’ll just write in “I’m taking the 5th Amendment.”, then sign it and send it in.

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