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In the week leading up to today’s IRS targeting hearing, Ms. Lerner’s lawyer made fools of the Republican leadership by saying his client would not testify because of “death threats,” then that she would testify but only by deposition, and finally that she would only testify under immunity.
Um, if you’re a Republican this has to be embarrassing.
Former IRS official Lois Lerner refused for a second time on Wednesday to testify about her role in a scheme to target conservative organizations that applied for tax-exempt status during President Barack Obama’s first term in office.
Lerner risks arrest if she is found in contempt of Congress…
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees that Lerner can’t be compelled to testify against herself.
But with the committee ruling that Lerner’s statements in May disqualified her from leaning on that right, she becomes subject to arrest if she continues to refuse to answer questions – either as leverage to force her to comply, or simply as punishment for thumbing her nose at Congress.
Four separate Supreme Court rulings have confirmed the right of Congress to incarcerate Americans for contempt, although it hasn’t been done in more than 75 years. [more]
Which means it is probably not going to happen.
As we said, embarrassing.
In fact, the only thing that is perhaps more embarrassing than this arrogant little twit thumbing her nose at the American people is the wimp chairing the committee for the GOP who doesn’t call her on it.
What was Issa waiting for? He should have dropped the gavel and had the sergeant-at-arms arrest Lerner on the spot and moved forward with contempt proceedings.
Can he do that? Yes. Jurney v. MacCracken, 1935; Congress has that power. True, the House cannot hold Lerner for more than 12 months or until the current session of Congress expires, but what reason do Issa or Boehner have to worry about a few procedural or parliamentary technicalities? That is if one chooses to disregard their personal ineptitude in the matter. It is, after all, their contention that Lerner has waved her Fifth Amendment rights.
Some are saying Issa should grant the former IRS manager immunity, but why should the leadership do that? Lerner’s arrogance doesn’t deserve leniency.
The Obama administration has run lawlessly roughshod over Congress for six years. Throw the b*tch into jail and let Obama go to court to have her released.
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