It Begins: Oversight Committee Will Move to Hold Lerner in Contempt

issa-eyes-lois3

For National Review OnlineEliana Johnson reports: The House Oversight Committee will vote next Thursday on whether to hold former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, sources say.

(read the whole thing here, but Eliana added the following update)

UPDATE: Issa has announced the hearing, saying in a statement that “Ms. Lerner’s involvement in wrongdoing and refusal to meet her legal obligations has left the Committee with no alternative but to consider a contempt finding.”

A committee aide tells National Review Online the panel will “make an announcement on the contempt process for Lois Lerner sometime today,” and a GOP congressman confirms that committee chairman Darrell Issa has indicated the vote will take place “next week.”

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Files

Lerner has twice declined to answer questions from lawmakers about her role in the targeting of right-leaning groups. At a June hearing, the panel determined in a party-line vote that she had waived her Fifth Amendment rights by making an opening statement declaring her innocence when she appeared at hearing in May. “I have not done anything wrong,” Lerner said at the time. “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.”

When she again invoked the Fifth Amendment at a hearing last month, she opened the door to charges that she was obstructing the work of Congress.

The committee’s vote would clear the way for John Boehner to bring the issue before the full House, and he has indicated he will do so. Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said, “Speaker Boehner has been clear, both publicly and privately, that if Lois Lerner does not testify fully and truthfully, she will be found in contempt of Congress.”

Contempt findings are rare. If the House ultimately holds Lerner in contempt, a statute directs the district attorney to refer the matter to a grand jury. Criminal charges could result in a jail sentence between one month and one year or a fine between $100 and $1,000.

In a prelude to next week’s vote, the Committee last month released a 141-pagereport making its case that Lerner’s testimony is critical to its investigation and that she has obstructed the panel’s work by providing it with inaccurate information….read more…

National Review Online


6 Comments on “It Begins: Oversight Committee Will Move to Hold Lerner in Contempt”

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