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IRS Administrator Pleads The Fifth

Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is invoking her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself in the ongoing congressional investigation over her agency’s targeting of tea party groups. Lerner was set to give testimony before the House Oversight Committee this week, but a…

Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is invoking her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself in the ongoing congressional investigation over her agency’s targeting of tea party groups.

Lerner was set to give testimony before the House Oversight Committee this week, but a May 20 letter from her lawyer, William Taylor, changed all of that.

“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” Taylor wrote in the letter to committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa exclusively obtained by The Los Angeles Times.

Taylor claimed that the hearing would “have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her.” He asked that Lerner be excused from the hearing, but Issa refused and issued a subpoena.

In her opening statement, Lerner insisted, “I have not done anything wrong,” and that she broke no laws or regulations. Lawmakers asserted that by delivering a sworn statement professing her innocence, Lerner waived her right to refuse to give testimony. Issa excused her, reserving the right to recall her pending legal counsel on the question of whether she had waived her rights.

(To continue reading this piece, press the “Read More …” icon below).

Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government.

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34 comments

tomstickler May 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Does Americans for Limited Government advocate the abolition of the Fifth Amendment? Is it less sacred than the Second, or First, Amendments?

This whole “scandal” of asking Tea Party and “Patriot” organizations pertinent questions regarding their “social welfare” credentials is a farce, since such organizations were not scrutinized out of proportion to all of the other organizations seeking 501(c)4 status.

The general public is getting wise to the Republican strategy of squealing “scandal” at every made-up opportunity. You can bet that Issa and his henchmen had a whole list of “fishing” questions they wanted to pose to Lerner, hoping (like the blind hogs they are) to stumble upon another ACORN.

Reply
Former Dem May 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm

tomsDickler,
You are a koolaid drinking brain dead individual sir!

Reply
mph May 22, 2013 at 5:55 pm

“You are a koolaid drinking brain dead individual sir!”

Dude, you know anything about punctuation? Best to cleanup those sentences up when insulting someone’s intelligence.

Ah, back to the point: She’s had enough of Darrel Issa’s endless grandstanding. Can you blame her? She’s only slightly behind the majority of the country that’s watched this carnival show and responded with a collective yawn. Nobody gives a shit.

Reply
mph May 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm

And here I have a typo after busting balls about punctuation. The irony.

Quick ?, commit it to memory. You can bring it up months later.

Reply
? May 22, 2013 at 8:42 pm

You’re kinda obsessed with me…I don’t even have to say anything…lol…just keep typing.

? May 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm

“Does Americans for Limited Government advocate the abolition of the Fifth Amendment? Is it less sacred than the Second, or First, Amendments?”

The irony of your statement is that you aren’t allowed to not file taxes on the basis of the Fifth Amendment.

So will you be taking up for those that don’t want to file on the basis of the Fifth, or just the IRS?

Reply
CL May 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm

This is laughably ignorant. The IRS specifically admitted to targeting groups with conservative sounding words in their title. Tweedle Dee testified last week that no such keywords were included for progressive groups. Tweedle Dum testified that he could not say a single progressive group was targeted.

It is also basic 5th Amendment law in the criminal setting that you cannot testify in your defense and then try to hide behind the 5th amendment to prevent cross examination. The privilege is waived in that instance, which is why OJ, Gosnell, and most criminal defendants do not take the stand. Issa then took a conservative approach of having legal counsel on whether this principal extends to Congressional testimony. In other words, he is trying to follow the law. If only the administration had taken the same approach…

And how dare Republicans prepare questions to illicit facts about what one of our bureaucracies is up to? The monsters?

Reply
tomstickler May 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Does Americans for Limited Government advocate the abolition of the Fifth Amendment? Is it less sacred than the Second, or First, Amendments?

This whole “scandal” of asking Tea Party and “Patriot” organizations pertinent questions regarding their “social welfare” credentials is a farce, since such organizations were not scrutinized out of proportion to all of the other organizations seeking 501(c)4 status.

The general public is getting wise to the Republican strategy of squealing “scandal” at every made-up opportunity. You can bet that Issa and his henchmen had a whole list of “fishing” questions they wanted to pose to Lerner, hoping (like the blind hogs they are) to stumble upon another ACORN.

Reply
Former Dem May 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm

tomsDickler,
You are a koolaid drinking brain dead individual sir!

Reply
mph May 22, 2013 at 5:55 pm

“You are a koolaid drinking brain dead individual sir!”

Dude, you know anything about punctuation? Best to cleanup those sentences up when insulting someone’s intelligence.

Ah, back to the point: She’s had enough of Darrel Issa’s endless grandstanding. Can you blame her? She’s only slightly behind the majority of the country that’s watched this carnival show and responded with a collective yawn. Nobody gives a shit.

Reply
mph May 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm

And here I have a typo after busting balls about punctuation. The irony.

Quick ?, commit it to memory. You can bring it up months later.

Reply
? May 22, 2013 at 8:42 pm

You’re kinda obsessed with me…I don’t even have to say anything…lol…just keep typing.

? May 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm

“Does Americans for Limited Government advocate the abolition of the Fifth Amendment? Is it less sacred than the Second, or First, Amendments?”

The irony of your statement is that you aren’t allowed to not file taxes on the basis of the Fifth Amendment.

So will you be taking up for those that don’t want to file on the basis of the Fifth, or just the IRS?

Reply
CL May 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm

This is laughably ignorant. The IRS specifically admitted to targeting groups with conservative sounding words in their title. Tweedle Dee testified last week that no such keywords were included for progressive groups. Tweedle Dum testified that he could not say a single progressive group was targeted.

It is also basic 5th Amendment law in the criminal setting that you cannot testify in your defense and then try to hide behind the 5th amendment to prevent cross examination. The privilege is waived in that instance, which is why OJ, Gosnell, and most criminal defendants do not take the stand. Issa then took a conservative approach of having legal counsel on whether this principal extends to Congressional testimony. In other words, he is trying to follow the law. If only the administration had taken the same approach…

And how dare Republicans prepare questions to illicit facts about what one of our bureaucracies is up to? The monsters?

Reply
GrandTango May 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm

She may has well have said: THE WORST YOU CAN THINK OF ME AND THE ENTIRE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

OBAMA, AND ME, WE CERTAINLY ARE CRIMINALS, AND WE HAVE VIOLATED THE LAW, EGREGIOUSLY….

Reply
Smirks May 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Lois Lerner at the press conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmzsWxPLIOo

Reply
Smirks May 22, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Lois Lerner at the press conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmzsWxPLIOo

Reply
This just in . . . May 22, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Obama Asks Staff to Start Cc’ing Him on Stuff

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) — In a dramatic departure from existing White House procedures, President Obama requested today that his staff start cc’ing him on stuff.

“Look, I know a lot of you think I’m really busy and you don’t want to bother me,” the President reportedly told his staff in an Oval Office meeting. “But cc me anyway. It’s good for me to keep up on what’s going on around here.”

“It’s not good when I turn on the news and they’re talking about something at the White House and I’m like, whoa, when did that happen?” Mr. Obama added. “I think cc’ing me would go a long way toward fixing that.”

“Maybe put a Post-It note on your computer saying, ‘CC POTUS,’ so you don’t forget,” he said as the meeting broke up.

Afterward, the President told aides that he “felt really good” about the meeting and was “really looking forward to people looping me in on stuff.”

But Mr. Obama’s mood soured later in the day, sources say, when his e-mail address was left off a message bearing the subject line, “Things the Treasury Dept. Is Planning to Do.”

Mr. Obama hastily reconvened his staff, telling them, “Look, maybe I didn’t make myself clear. That’s just the kind of thing I should have been cc’d on. Even Biden got that one. Could one of you please forward it to me?”

As of press time, Mr. Obama had not yet received the e-mail.

Reply
This just in . . . May 22, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Obama Asks Staff to Start Cc’ing Him on Stuff

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) — In a dramatic departure from existing White House procedures, President Obama requested today that his staff start cc’ing him on stuff.

“Look, I know a lot of you think I’m really busy and you don’t want to bother me,” the President reportedly told his staff in an Oval Office meeting. “But cc me anyway. It’s good for me to keep up on what’s going on around here.”

“It’s not good when I turn on the news and they’re talking about something at the White House and I’m like, whoa, when did that happen?” Mr. Obama added. “I think cc’ing me would go a long way toward fixing that.”

“Maybe put a Post-It note on your computer saying, ‘CC POTUS,’ so you don’t forget,” he said as the meeting broke up.

Afterward, the President told aides that he “felt really good” about the meeting and was “really looking forward to people looping me in on stuff.”

But Mr. Obama’s mood soured later in the day, sources say, when his e-mail address was left off a message bearing the subject line, “Things the Treasury Dept. Is Planning to Do.”

Mr. Obama hastily reconvened his staff, telling them, “Look, maybe I didn’t make myself clear. That’s just the kind of thing I should have been cc’d on. Even Biden got that one. Could one of you please forward it to me?”

As of press time, Mr. Obama had not yet received the e-mail.

Reply
Bill Clinton May 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Give her immunity and have her testify against Obama.

Reply
Bill Clinton May 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Give her immunity and have her testify against Obama.

Reply
lowcorider May 22, 2013 at 10:51 pm

http://youtu.be/yxE_oQBwrdU

Those pesky rights.

Reply
? May 22, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Ha! loved it

Chapelle is great.

Reply
Lowcorider May 22, 2013 at 10:51 pm

http://youtu.be/yxE_oQBwrdU

Those pesky rights.

Reply
? May 22, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Ha! loved it

Chapelle is great.

Reply
Jay Ellington May 23, 2013 at 9:02 am

I’m not a former prosecutor but I even thought it was a bit weird when they got down to Lois in the opening statements and she didn’t immediately invoke her 5th amendment right. People like Tom’s Tickler can call a spade a diamond, but people with any good sense know it’s still a spade. This is the equivalent of someone being slurring speech drunk and refusing a BAC. The woman knows a lot more than Shulman, yet she’s weaseling out of talking? Looks like this thing will be going to a special prosecutor.

Reply
Jay Ellington May 23, 2013 at 9:02 am

I’m not a former prosecutor but I even thought it was a bit weird when they got down to Lois in the opening statements and she didn’t immediately invoke her 5th amendment right. People like Tom’s Tickler can call a spade a diamond, but people with any good sense know it’s still a spade. This is the equivalent of someone being slurring speech drunk and refusing a BAC. The woman knows a lot more than Shulman, yet she’s weaseling out of talking? Looks like this thing will be going to a special prosecutor.

Reply
Jay Ellington May 23, 2013 at 9:02 am

I’m not a former prosecutor but I even thought it was a bit weird when they got down to Lois in the opening statements and she didn’t immediately invoke her 5th amendment right. People like Tom’s Tickler can call a spade a diamond, but people with any good sense know it’s still a spade. This is the equivalent of someone being slurring speech drunk and refusing a BAC. The woman knows a lot more than Shulman, yet she’s weaseling out of talking? Looks like this thing will be going to a special prosecutor.

Reply
Manray9 May 23, 2013 at 10:31 am

Ms. Lerner, unfortunately, didn’t clarify the matter, but you can’t blame her for using all legal means to avoid entrapment in the current congressional witch hunt. As the NY Times stated: “It was a huge loss for anyone who really wanted to know what happened. But under the circumstances, it’s not surprising that Ms. Lerner’s lawyers advised her to invoke her right against self-incrimination, and that she took their advice.” Issa and his cronies are much more interested in attacking the IRS and, indirectly, President Obama than they are really getting to the bottom of the situation. This is what our elected officials do now. Forget jobs, the economy, sequestration, Afghanistan, climate change, infrastructure collapse or any of the other truly difficult problems we face — let’s get the lady at the IRS who checked up on Tea Party activists!

Reply
CL May 23, 2013 at 10:58 am

The “blame” is not for taking the 5th, it is for trying to have it both ways. You cannot profess your innocence under oath, which was obviously done to sway the listener into sympathizing with her, and then use the 5th Amendment to avoid answering questions that would put your sworn testimony to the test. You have waived your 5th amendment right in that circumstance and are compelled to answer.

And the IRS scandal is enormously important for our conception of government. The entire progressive enterprise is based upon the notion that government can replace community and the civil society, which traditionally has filled the gaps between the individual and the more limited role of government, and that concerns that such an expanded government would introduce the possibility of tyranny are paranoid. But when the government does in fact start turning on the citizens, targeting them based upon their political belief in ways we have not seen since the execrable sedition acts, then the foundation for the progressive state is shown to be faulty. In a real sense, this is the most important issue facing the country. Can we trust the bureaucratic state or were our founders on to something when they created a limited republic of enumerated powers subject to a system of checks and balances? That philosophical choice then guides how we should approach every other issue facing the country.

Reply
Manray9 May 23, 2013 at 10:31 am

Ms. Lerner, unfortunately, didn’t clarify the matter, but you can’t blame her for using all legal means to avoid entrapment in the current congressional witch hunt. As the NY Times stated: “It was a huge loss for anyone who really wanted to know what happened. But under the circumstances, it’s not surprising that Ms. Lerner’s lawyers advised her to invoke her right against self-incrimination, and that she took their advice.” Issa and his cronies are much more interested in attacking the IRS and, indirectly, President Obama than they are really getting to the bottom of the situation. This is what our elected officials do now. Forget jobs, the economy, sequestration, Afghanistan, climate change, infrastructure collapse or any of the other truly difficult problems we face — let’s get the lady at the IRS who checked up on Tea Party activists!

Reply
CL May 23, 2013 at 10:58 am

The “blame” is not for taking the 5th, it is for trying to have it both ways. You cannot profess your innocence under oath, which was obviously done to sway the listener into sympathizing with her, and then use the 5th Amendment to avoid answering questions that would put your sworn testimony to the test. You have waived your 5th amendment right in that circumstance and are compelled to answer.

And the IRS scandal is enormously important for our conception of government. The entire progressive enterprise is based upon the notion that government can replace community and the civil society, which traditionally has filled the gaps between the individual and the more limited role of government, and that concerns that such an expanded government would introduce the possibility of tyranny are paranoid. But when the government does in fact start turning on the citizens, targeting them based upon their political belief in ways we have not seen since the execrable sedition acts, then the foundation for the progressive state is shown to be faulty. In a real sense, this is the most important issue facing the country. Can we trust the bureaucratic state or were our founders on to something when they created a limited republic of enumerated powers subject to a system of checks and balances? That philosophical choice then guides how we should approach every other issue facing the country.

Reply
tomstickler May 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm

I suppose it doesn’t matter that Lerner is a Bush appointee?

Reply
tomstickler May 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm

I suppose it doesn’t matter that Lerner is a Bush appointee?

Reply

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