Earlier today, when House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) allowed IRS scoundrel Lois Lerner to stop testifying after she “took the Fifth,” I said that Issa had made a mistake.
He should have made her stay and answer, even if her answers were continuing to take the Fifth, if only for the political spectacle.
My assertion stood as my opinion even separate from the statement by Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) that by making an opening statement, essentially asserting that she had done nothing wrong, Lerner had waived her Fifth Amendment rights.
No doubt Rep. Issa heard a barrage of similar comments from the political right (and I’d like to hope that his staff saw the Twitter posting related to my opinion.)
Liberal attorney Alan Dershowitz has now opined of Lerner that “She’s in trouble. She can be held in contempt.”
So it is gratifying for multiple reasons that, according to reports, Issa will recall Lerner to testify. She will be told, presumably, that she cannot take the Fifth. My guess is that she will do so anyway, leading to a lawsuit between her lawyers and the Committee’s lawyers. It should be a beautiful thing to watch, making Jay Carney squirm every step of the way.
While Dershowitz seems to agree with Gowdy, other attorneys disagree. Should make for an interesting time in early June.
It would be OK with me if the Committee offers immunity to Lerner if she agrees to testify where the orders to target conservative groups came from, as long as the deal also comes with her losing her job.
Congratulations to Congressman Issa for reconsidering. It takes a big man to admit he was wrong in so public a forum, and then to do the right thing.