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CONTEMPT: Lerner Citation Passes Committee; Boehner Vows Passage

House Dems vow the action against the former IRS official “will be laughed out of court.”

by
Bill Straub

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April 10, 2014 - 1:06 pm
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WASHINGTON – The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, in a straight party-line vote, recommended Thursday that former IRS official Lois Lerner be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about her agency’s actions regarding its handling of conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status.

The final vote showed all 21 Republican committee members voting for a finding of contempt with the panel’s 12 Democrats in opposition. The issue now heads to the House floor where the GOP holds a solid majority. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) already has said the committee action will be affirmed.

“If Lois Lerner continues to refuse to testify, then the House will hold her in contempt,” Boehner said. “And we will continue to shine the light on the administration’s abusive actions and use every tool at our disposal to expose the truth and ensure the American people get the answers they deserve.”

After the House considers and votes on the issue, the contempt finding will be referred to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. The law maintains it is the duty of the prosecutor to thereafter refer the matter to a grand jury.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the committee chairman who has been pushing to compel Lerner’s testimony, said the contempt action was necessary “to complete our oversight work and bring truth to the American people.”

“I am concerned that Ms. Lerner violated the law,” Issa said. “If she or her lawyer explained what she wanted to admit and why she needed immunity to tell the full truth I certainly would consider it. But I’m not going to consider immunity so Ms. Lerner can continue to mislead this committee. If she really did nothing wrong and wants to tell the full truth she doesn’t need immunity.”

Democrats reacted fiercely. In a report released ahead of Thursday’s hearing, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the panel’s ranking member, accused Issa of attempting to “re-create the Oversight Committee in Joe McCarthy’s image, and we reject his attempts to drag us back to that shameful era in which Congress tried to strip away the constitutional rights of American citizens under the bright lights of hearings that had nothing to do with responsible oversight and everything to do with the most dishonorable kind of partisan politics.”

“Chairman Issa has identified no historical precedent for successfully convicting an American citizen for contempt after that person has asserted his or her Fifth Amendment right not to testify before Congress,” Cummings said. “The only other times in recent memory that Congress attempted to do this were a disgraceful stain on our nation’s history.”

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) predicted the contempt citation “will be laughed out of court.”

“The chairman has bungled it so much that it will only go to cost the taxpayers more money,” Lynch said.

The Oversight Committee has spent almost a year investigating claims that the IRS either slow-walked or denied requests from Tea Party and various other conservative groups seeking designations under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Service Code that permits them to engage in some limited political activity and protect the identity of donors.

On May 10, 2013, Lerner, then the agency’s director of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division, revealed that the IRS was targeting conservative groups, slow-walking or denying their applications. Three days later the inspector general for the Department of the Treasury released a report concluding that the IRS was using “inappropriate criteria” in reviewing tax-exempt status applications.

These improper reviews, the inspector general said, resulted in “substantial delays in processing” the applications. It also was determined the groups were subject to “unnecessary information requests.”

The next day, Attorney General Eric Holder pronounced the agency’s actions “outrageous and unacceptable” and opened an investigation to determine if any laws were broken. But congressional Republicans have voiced dissatisfaction with the Justice Department’s handling of the issue and spearheaded committee probes into the agency’s functions.

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Top Rated Comments   
when a congressman quietly mouthed the words "You lie" at Obama as he talked about Obamacare, Democrats wanted to reprimand him How dare he suggest Obama would lie about Obamacare? Now we have Cummiings constantly lying about the IRS and Lerner. Can we have the House reprimand Cummings? Why not?
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Democrats aren't even embarrassed the IRS head took the 5th. The most transparent president in history: transparently dishonest. Obama & Holder invoke executive privilege. Obama's prosecutor in Fast&Furious takes the 5th. Lois Lerner went one further though and talked then before answering questions took the 5th. Democrats are like the Mafia before Congress taking the 5th.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
If it is "laughed out of court" it will only be because the democrat party has become a full blown fascist criminal klan.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (25)
All Comments   (25)
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Lerner is laughable. And Holder is a co-conspirator. Does anyone think he's gonna find anything wrong with one of his own. Like Obama and Holder - two homies. Birds of a feather fl_ck together. This USurped government is Corrupt to the Core.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
The question I want asked is, "when are you going to stop the practice"?

Like the Leftists keep on reminding us with Obamacare, Citizens United Is The Law.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey Elijah Commie, Sit Down and STFU
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am wondering what kind of package she is taking with her? How much is it still going to cost the taxpayers?
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
From refusing to go forward with the 2008 case against the new black panthers for violating he voting rights act to conducting and lying about fast and furious (Holder himself cited for Contempt of Congress for lying), to picking and choosing which laws to enforce and which to ignore (declaring he has 'wide latitude')...these are only a few of a whole bunch of reasons that Eric Holder should be impeached.

"Cruz: Holder Should Be Impeached For ‘Defying Congress And The Rule Of Law’ In IRS Scandal"

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/04/11/cruz-holder-should-be-impeached-for-defying-congress-and-the-rule-of-law-in-irs-scandal/
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
So let me get this straight.

Eric Holder gets to decide whether or not a contempt of Congress citation against Lois Lerner can stand and whether or not a special prosecutor can be appointed to investigate the IRS targeting of conservative groups ?

Eric has already assured Lois that she will not be prosecuted.

Something is profoundly rotten in DC.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have watched Rep. Issa in these hearings on CSPAN and have seen him conduct the meetings in a polite and assertive way. His patience really showed when trying to get a yes or no answer from the head of the IRS regarding the disclosure of all Lerner's emails. The lack of cooperation from the IRS was obvious. Time to initiate criminal charges against IRS employees.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anyone know anything about Ronald C. Machen, Jr., US Attorney for the District of Columbia? besides his being an Obummler appointee.
Will there be “substantial delays in processing” or "slow walking" here too?
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't see it being carried out. The House leadership is afraid. Issa very well may attempt to see it through but Boehner and Cantor, Et al, lack the steel. The left will attack with all of its weapons because they know that if there are cracks in the armor, a lot of poeple will go down or resign.
This is where, if I were Lois Lerner, I would look to Issa for safety. Yes, There are people that would resort to that.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Leftists call it bungled, racist, witch hunts, etc. Looks like desperation.

Expect to see Pelosi, Reid, Feinstein, Wasserman trotted out shortly to offer up diversion on some other shiny object faux outrage.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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