Congressman and Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa (R-CA) quickly dismissed the meeting following former Internal Revenue Service head Lois Lerner pleading the Fifth Amendment again to every question that was posed to her, after she took an oath to answer questions truthfully. In doing so, he cut Congressman Elijah Cummings’ (D-MD) microphone.
On Fox News Sunday, Issa said that Lerner would be testifying this week. He cited William Taylor, Lerner’s attorney, as the source of confirmation of her agreement to testify on Wednesday.
Here are the emails between Issa and Taylor:
However, Taylor told Politico that he made no such agreement with Issa and that she would continue to plead the Fifth.
“As of now, she intends to continue to assert her Fifth Amendment rights,” Taylor said. “I do not know why Issa said what he said.”
I’ll let the readers be the judge of who is telling the truth.
In either case, at today’s hearing, Lerner was asked if there was corruption inside the IRS in the targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups.
“On the advice of my counsel I respectfully exercise my Fifth Amendment right and decline to answer that question,” she answered.
Disgusted by the response, Issa dismissed the committee, but not before adding that Lerner could be held in contempt. He then cut off Rep. Cummings in mid-sentence.
“Ladies and gentlemen, seeking the truth is the duty of this committee and I see no point in moving forward,” Issa said. “We’re adjourned, close it down.”
He then left the hearing, as Cummings continued speaking without a mic for several minutes.
Following the hearing, Cummings met with the press and attempted to say he was trying to follow the truth and pointed to the Republican from Ohio, who seems to be the scapegoat in this entire scandal. Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) called such claims “reprehensible” in light of the fact that Lerner wanted to point fingers at others, but not answer for herself.
Lerner pled the Fifth last year, after making a lengthy statement that she had done nothing wrong. This led to Representative Trey Gowdy exclaiming that she had waived her Fifth Amendment right by speaking. It also led to a Committee resolution which proclaimed the same sentiment.
Though Lerner refused to resign, she got a paid leave of $3,557.69 a week from tax payers, many of the same ones that were targeted by the agency she was in charge of. In September of 2013, we learned of Lerner’s punishment: retirement with full pension. Again, this comes at tax payer expense.
Lois Lerner is pleading the Fifth to keep from incriminating herself because we have the evidence that she knew all along of the IRS’ targeting.
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