The Spectacle Blog

Sealed Lips: Lois Lerner Pleads the Fifth Again

By on 3.5.14 | 11:20AM

Wondering what Lois Lerner had to say at this morning’s House Oversight Committee meeting?

On the advice of my counsel I respectfully exercise my Fifth Amendment right and decline to answer that question.

Although the IRS division caught targeting conservative groups was under Lerner’s leadership, this is the second time she's pled the Fifth, dodging the committee’s attempts to uncover the truth.  

On March 1, Lerner’s lawyer said in an email that Lerner was willing to testify, but her brief response proved otherwise.

Last year at similar hearing, Lerner made the following claim:

I have not done anything wrong. 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.

She declared her innocence, but when questioned further she attempted to plead the Fifth. Because of this the committee voted to overturn her plea, stating that her claim of innocence waived her Fifth Amendment rights.

Will we ever find out the truth? Lerner’s unwillingness to testify is frustrating. At this point, she should be required to answer further questioning. Yes, she is innocent until proven guilty, but in waiving her Fifth Amendment rights, she opened herself up to further scrutiny.

Chairman Darrell Issa could go no further with Lerner’s curt response and he hastily closed the meeting, saying, “I see no point in moving forward.”

What is the point of moving forward? The IRS is caught in a scandal where they abused their power and targeted innocent individuals because of their political leanings. If Obama can do this to Tea Partiers today, a Republican president might try it on liberal activists tomorrow. That should concern every American on both sides of the aisle.

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