Lois Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights by reading an opening statement before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on May 22, the commitee decided today.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted 22-17 on Friday that embattled IRS official Lois Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights during a hearing last month on the agency’s tea party targeting scandal.
The party-line vote paves the way for the committee to bring Lerner back to Congress and force her to answer questions from lawmakers.
After Lerner read her opening statement, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) argued that she’d waived her Fifth Amendment rights and should be compelled to testify. Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) decided to recess the hearing rather than adjourn, which means that Lerner is still under the original subpoena.
This vote indicates that the committee will bring her back and compel her to testify. If she refuses, they may hold her in contempt of Congress.
Will this lead to any major developments in the investigation into the IRS targeting of conservatives? It isn’t clear yet, but Issa has indicated that he isn’t letting Lerner off the hook easily, so it certainly could.