House Votes To Hold IRS Official Lois Lerner in Contempt of Congress in IRS Targeting Tea Party Scandal
The House of Representatives voted to hold IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress by a 231 to 187 vote. Lerner has invoked her 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination not once, but twice at Congressional hearings. Many believe that Lerner waived her 5th Amendment rights by testifying in front of a Congressional hearing by making an opening statement and then going silent. The matter will now be referred to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and the contempt charge will then be referred to a grand jury. However, it is unknown how the Eric Holder Justice Department will proceed, if at all. If ever convicted, Lerner could face between one and 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $100,000. Lois Lerner has since left the IRS, but not without being able to keep her whopping six figure pension.
Wasn’t the Obama administration supposed to be the most transparent presidency ever?
The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to hold a former Internal Revenue Service official in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with an ongoing investigation into the agency’s special targeting of groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names that were seeking tax-exempt status.
On a 231 to 187 vote, the House approved a contempt citation against Lois G. Lerner, whose admission last year that the tax-enforcement agency had targeted conservative groups infuriated lawmakers in both parties, led to an overhaul of the IRS and Lerner’s eventual retirement from government service.
The House also passed a resolution Wednesday that called on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. House lawmakers voted 250 to 168 to pass the resolution in which 26 Democrats joined all voting Republicans to approve it.
CBS News-DC: US Attorney To Oversee Lerner Contempt Case Appointed By Obama.
The matter now goes to Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. Federal law says Machen has a “duty” to bring the matter before a grand jury. But a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said it was unclear whether the duty is mandatory or discretionary. Machen was appointed to his job by President Barack Obama.
“We will carefully review the report from the speaker of the House and take whatever action is appropriate,” Machen’s office said in a statement.
The vote calling on the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel was 250 to 168, with all Republicans voting in favor and most Democrats voting against.
Attorney General Eric Holder has denied previous requests to appoint a special counsel, saying it was unwarranted.
UPDATE I: Democrat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi misses Lois Lerner vote for fundraiser.