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Lois Lerner Will Testify About IRS Scandal — If She’s Granted Immunity

July 4, 2013 by  

Lois Lerner Will Testify About IRS Scandal — If She’s Granted Immunity
UPI FILE
Lois Lerner is ready to talk about what she knows.

Lois Lerner, the former director of the Internal Revenue Service’s division responsible for quelling Tea Party groups while fast-tracking liberal nonprofits during President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, told a House oversight panel this in May:

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. While I would very much like to answer the committee’s questions today, I have been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify or answer questions related to the subject manner of this hearing.

Then she attempted to invoke her 5th Amendment right not to testify against herself.

But now Lerner’s changed her mind, offering to testify about the IRS discrimination scandal — if she’s guaranteed immunity from prosecution. (Hey, no problem — she didn’t do anything wrong, remember?)

On Wednesday, Lerner’s attorney said she would testify before the House oversight committee, telling POLITICO: “They can obtain her testimony tomorrow by doing it the easy way … immunity. That’s the way to resolve all of this.”

The House oversight panel held a bipartisan vote last week, determining that Lerner indeed waived her 5th Amendment protection when, at her hearing in May, she prefaced her “silence” against self-incrimination by first telling the panel she was innocent of any wrongdoing. Republicans pounced, noting that Lerner attempted to have her legal cake and eat it, too, by rewriting the rules on how much a witness can say before clamming up under Constitutional protection.

Under the committee’s assertion that she waived her 5th Amendment rights, Lerner could be held in contempt if she refuses to testify at a future, as-yet unscheduled recall appearance.

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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