Lerner’s Retreat: IRS Chief Who Pleaded The 5th Retires As Tea Party Scandal Closes In

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former Director of Exempt Organizations

The former Internal Revenue Service official who attempted to testify on her own behalf before invoking her 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination resigned from her position Monday, even as a review board prepared to recommend that she be fired for her alleged role in wielding the tax agency’s power to illegally discriminate against conservative nonprofit groups.

Lois Lerner, the former director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division, had been on administrative leave since admitting in May that the IRS had bogged down conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 Presidential election. She is expected to receive a full pension after retiring from her $177,000-per-year post.

Multiple news outlets reported that an IRS review board was posed to recommend that Lerner be fired for neglect of duty. Lerner, who allegedly had been made aware of the imminent embarrassment, avoided all that simply by quitting.

Congressional Republicans serving on various investigative panels said the resignation doesn’t affect Lerner’s susceptibility to a current subpoena by the House Oversight Committee, which doesn’t expire until the 113th Congress adjourns.

“We still don’t know why Lois Lerner, as a senior IRS official, had such a personal interest in directing scrutiny and why she denied improper conduct to Congress,” said Congressman Darrell E. Issa (R-Calif.) who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “Her departure does not answer these questions or diminish the committee’s interest in hearing her testimony.”

The only testimony the committee has heard from Lerner thus far came shortly after the Tea Party scandal broke in late May, when Lerner infamously attempted to sway Congressional investigators with a brief self-acquittal before clamming up.

“I have done nothing wrong,” she had said at a committee hearing on May 22. “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 committee.” Lerner then said she wished to invoke the 5th Amendment, a recourse that had outraged Republican committee members who said she waived her claim against self-incrimination by offering testimony, however brief.

The IRS review panel that planned to recommend Lerner’s firing did not find her controversial actions to be politically motivated, a claim that conservatives who’ve followed the case have disputed. Internal emails released by The Wall Street Journal earlier this month reveal Lerner’s public claim that “rogue” IRS employees had perpetrated the Tea Party scandal doesn’t gibe with Lerner’s in-house communication, in which she described Tea Party groups as “dangerous.” Lerner’s own words, the story states, “raise doubts about IRS claims that the targeting wasn’t politically motivated.”

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • jackw97224

    Lerner should be banished to a Pacific island, way off the shipping lanes, givern MREs and told to never ever return to civilization under penalty of death.

    • Nadzieja Batki

      You would still be feeding the human predator. How is that a punishment?

  • Alex

    Jesus Abdul Christ—there IS no “I.R.S. scandal”.

    ALL groups applying for tax-exempt status face scrutiny. Show me which Teabag groups operating within the regulations were denied tax-exempt status. Not scrutinized, but actually denied exemption.

    While you are at it, please identify Left-leaning groups that were NOT operating within the regulations. In fact, please identify Left-leaning groups that somehow skated past review. Thank you…

    • Debbie Hogan Tate

      Why did Malik Obama not face this scrutiny? He is funding the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Quada! No rules or scrutiny there!

      • Alex

        Is Malik Obama an institution seeking tax-exempt status?

        • Nadzieja Batki

          I thought you Dem’s/Progs/Leftists were all into fairness but it appears that is not so.

          • mnkysnkle

            There’s a lot that they claim, but it’s all pretty much lies.

        • Amfer Ferg

          Yes, a ‘foundation’ in his name. By the way, he’s obama’s brother. Does that anwer your question? If not, research it!

    • Nadzieja Batki

      The question is also, were your in each individual IRS clerks head when they were making decisions who to approve or disapprove? If you weren’t there then you comment is a bigger lie. But your comments have been consistent lies and I would think the IRS would be more concerned with your lies as one lie leads to another and another.

    • mnkysnkle

      Just off the top of my list—–Barry’s brother was fast tracked in less than 6 weeks. And he was financing the MB in Egypt and Lybia and was paying bribes in Syria. I know you’re a shill, but you’re also an idiot.

    • Robert Messmer

      Obviously you have never gone to a library and asked to check out “The” IRS law since it takes up about 79 freaking feet of shelf space. That is the real “IRS” scandal.

  • Debbie Hogan Tate

    Bring this witch up on charges for her involvement! Just because she is retiring does not mean she can not be prosecuted! Charge her with treason and send her to Gitmo with all her friends! Take all the money she has been paid and put it towards the deficit that she has helped cause,along with her friends! Give her the choice of Gitmo or Death! I for one would support the second choice!

    • Robert Messmer

      OK first we can’t prove treason which is aiding and abetting our enemy in time of war. Doesn’t mean there are other charges, but probably nothing deserving of Gitmo or Death. She is just a low level cog in the machine, one who will not be missed.

  • Beverly Golato

    Alex, stop already. It’s a forgone conclusion that Lerner, a political appointee in the WH, targeted Tea Party groups and as far as I know none were given tax exempt status. ACORN skated past review and is still working under a different name, Obama’s brother has an organization that is a front for his life style in Africa, more like a brothel. Lerner has a history of this kind of work. Her previous job (look it up, I forgot the name) she blackmailed Republicans so they wouldn’t run. Stop defending the people who are instrumental in trying to destroy our freedoms and liberties we have. It’s wrong for an agency that is supposed to give us trust in our system to be so corrupt. What ever party it has got to stop.

  • Warrior

    I wonder if lois “groomed” her replacement? How do these type of people live with themselves? What did you do for a living? Oh, I spent my time working against the “opposition” party. And did you find that to be “rewarding” work? Well, not particularly but the pay and benefits are great. And this my friends is your “typical” goobermint “nonproductive” worker. $177,000.00/yr salary? Great gig! No wonder we’re so F-th up!

  • wandamurline

    Yeah, we always want the IRS to investigate the IRS….kinda like the DOJ investigating the DOJ. What we need in ALL of these scandals is an INDEPENDENT investigation by a person who is NOT politically connected to anyone…..like Kenneth Star who investigated Clinton and got him impeached, but the crooks in Washington did not have the gonads to remove him from office. There are people here that need to see jail time in all of these scandals….IRS, NSA, Benghazi and Fast and Furious….they were responsible for several deaths and need to be held accountable.

    • mnkysnkle

      How about sheriff Joe from Maricopa, and his cold case posse?

  • scott miller

    Yes she did nothing wrong, hence she is on admin leave, pleads the 5th and quits before she can be called up.

    The law is quite clear that the irs is not a political wing of the white house, so any orders that came down or action that was personally taken in that pursuit is clearly a violation of the law.

    So how about you tell us your side of the story, honestly, and let us decide who did what wrong exactly.

  • mnkysnkle

    We’ve got congressmen who are lawyers, but still no one has the wherewithal to move forward with this? She should have been found guilty and sentenced already. Do we need to recall everybody in congress to get this done? Then there still the B.C. issue, f&f, Libya, Benghazi, Justice department, NSA, bribes to the MB(which is complicit with Benghazi). All of these are impeachable offences just by themselves!!! But they sure as hell can pass more gun control and liberty crushing legislation in the blink of an eye. WHY IS THAT???
    ..

  • mnkysnkle

    We’ve got congressmen who are lawyers, but still no one has the wherewithal to move forward with this? She should have been found guilty and sentenced already. Do we need to recall everybody in congress to get this done? Then there still the B.C. issue, f&f, Libya, Benghazi, Justice department, NSA, bribes to the MB(which is complicit with Benghazi). All of these are impeachable offences just by themselves!!! But they sure as hell can pass more gun control and liberty crushing legislation in the blink of an eye. WHY IS THAT???
    ..

  • Carlos

    The investigating committees in all the current scandals are probably hindered by the IRS, who have probably gathered enough dirt on them so they are too afraid to get tough in these investigations. You notice they are still investigating fast and furious, no subpenas have been issued, wonder why, they don’t have the power to do so and won’t turn it over to a special prosecutor, why?, because Holder would have to pick the prosecutor, So Barry is safe as long as Holder is Att. Gen. what a racket!!