May 22nd, 2013
10:41 AM ET
1 year ago

IRS official takes the 5th at congressional hearing

Washington (CNN) - The Internal Revenue Service official who headed the division involved in targeting conservative groups invoked her constitutional right against self-incrimination Wednesday and refused to answer questions from a congressional committee.

Lois Lerner read a statement at a House Oversight Committee hearing that declared she did nothing wrong and broke no laws before saying she would not answer any questions.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Darrell Issa • IRS
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. thomase

    I am excited to watch the GOP make a mountain of something that people didn't even need to file to the IRS to engage in. You don't need their approval to form a 501 (c)(4).

    May 22, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. Malory Archer

    From the article: Other officials testifying at Wednesday's hearing included Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin, who first learned of the issue in the summer of 2012. As a high-ranking Obama administration official, Wolin will face questions on whether he shared information about the problem with the White House.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Mr. Wolin, would this so-called "scandal" have anything to do with the previous previous Commissioner leaving the job a year ahead of schedule?

    May 22, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. Neutral Observer

    This story should not be bipartisan. No one gains from having IRS with the power it now has. The IRS can audit, imprison, and drive into bankruptcy anyone through expensive audits. Any opportunity to make IRS honchos miserable should be encouraged and rigorously exercised. When IRS has that much power, it is in everyones best interest to make its management overly accountable. It is impossible to kick them too hard. Just think if they are playing political games with taxes, imagine how much leverage they'll have when they control health care. I know the liberal water carriers are belligerently quacking about who gets tax exempt status and all that but this is not the issue. The issue is that the IRS is using it's powers not in the interest of the US tax payers but instead in the interest of a political party in actions that are in the worse interest of the US tax payer. This is something a despot does.

    May 22, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    In the words of Dave Chappelle: "I pleads the Fizif."

    May 22, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. Evergreen

    Because when you are caught up in a witch hunt, it is always the innocent who gets burned at stake.

    May 22, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. Name

    If you did nothing wrong you have nothing to hide!!

    May 22, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    Hey... it's her right, guaranteed by our Constitution.

    Having said that, I'll be the first to admit that I get suspicious when someone takes this route while testifying. Inevitably, the "what is she hiding?" thoughts arrive. Human nature.

    The bottom line is that if one tells the truth – CONSISTENTLY – then it would be difficult for any lawyer to trip someone up with gotcha questions. If she cannot keep her story straight under questioning, then perhaps the 5th is appropriate.

    May 22, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  8. Gurgyl

    Nothing wrong with IRS Official here....GOP idiots play drama...

    May 22, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. just sayin

    "I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules and regulations," Lerner said, adding that she never misled or lied to Congress, as contended by some legislators.
    --

    then she has no reason whatsoever to plead the 5th. she's obviously lying or obstructing the investigation.

    May 22, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    There are many democrats that will follow this administration right off the cliffwith their pied piper (Obama).

    Amazing how someone that violated the American peoples constitutional rights invokes HER contitutional right. Democrats really do think that laws can only be applied to everyone else while the Constitution is only for them.

    May 22, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Democrats believe the Constitution is only for them and the law can only be applied to everyone else.

    May 22, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  12. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    This and the other issues (AP, FOX, CBS along with the Benghazi ect...) are CLEARLY SCANDALS!!!!!!!!!!

    May 22, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. rob

    CNN and the other liberal media cable and broadcast outlets will continue to downplay all these scandals because the NYT editorial board and "News" editors are burying it. If you look closely at the news coverage of politics by the mainstream liberal media, it is taken from the lead of the NYT and WAPO etc. To do otherwise risks not only entry to the cocktail parties in NY and Washington but possibly secret confiscation of your communications by our "Justice" Dept.

    We are finally seeing the ugly truth of the Liberal Nirvana and it is CHAOS

    May 22, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Wake up People!

    To all the President Obama hating trolls that troll the net looking for something to bash him about......

    You might want to stop wetting yourselves, hoping, praying and having moist dreams of his impeachment because......

    It's Not Going To Happen!!

    I really hate to see you guys and gals so let down. You know like you were election night...... Crying and falling on the ground clutching your tiny selves....

    May 22, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. Somanylies

    As someone that works for the US Citizens, she should be more than helpful getting to the bottom of this...

    Or like so many other lies that have been forgotten, we will just move on to the next big story, right US Citizens?

    Like we always say, forgive and forget!

    May 22, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. SuperD

    When you plead the 5th. You have something to hide. Fine, we'll drag her to court. She surely has direct contacts to Obama. She's going to jail.

    Obama, we're going to nail you. Your fingerprints are all over this. Karma has finally arrived. We're going to get that despicable pig Hillary too and save the country from you commies.

    May 22, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  17. joe

    utter trash. I'm pleading the 5th? You are a government employee, we pay your salary lady. Speak up and tell us what you know or move on. There is the potential for criminal proceedings to follow. Once again, all of you idiotic liberals, open your eyes. Big government is bad news. Why do you want people having so much power of your life? Obama needs to go... He is either incompetent or lying to us on this case as well as the bengazi case. Not to mention the justice department snooping through personal emails however they see fit... Unreal...

    May 22, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Around and around and around we go, and where we stop nobody knows. This is just another of Government going wild. Just another example of the Inmates running the Asylum, or in other words democracy. People happily voted fot it now they got it. Not sure why this lady would take the 5Th. The old adage of Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread comes to mind.

    May 22, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Fair is Fair
    Hey... it's her right, guaranteed by our Constitution.
    ------------------------------–
    Thank you Fair.

    May 22, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. Tony D

    thomase
    I am excited to watch the GOP make a mountain of something that people didn't even need to file to the IRS to engage in. You don't need their approval to form a 501 (c)(4).
    ------

    Right.... and all of these organizations were doing this just for the fun of it! Jeez, will you get a clue before penning your total nonsense?

    May 22, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. Sniffit

    Can't say I blame her. Boehner has now managed highlighted precisely why people insulated Obama from this information: when you're in a position of power and leadership and authority, you don't interfere with the investigations by tainting them with public commentary, prior to completion of the investigation or having any evidence to support accusations of a crime, demanding that someone go to jail for what took place. Boehner made very clear that the GOP/Teatrolls conducting these hearings have already decided without evidence that a crime was committed and someone needs to go to jail. Once that's been made clear, anybody who was directly involved would be a fool to not plead the 5th, regardless of what they did or their testimony would really be.

    May 22, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Donna

    So has she been suspended with or without pay??? Until we find out what this woman is hiding she should be considered a dangerous person to have working at the IRS. The FBI and a Special Prosecutor also needs to be engaged to investigate her dealings.

    May 22, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. Malory Archer

    Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    There are many democrats that will follow this administration right off the cliffwith their pied piper (Obama).

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, except Lois Lerner isn't part of the Obama administration. She's a government employee who has worked for the IRS since before President Obama was elected to Congress. Her bush-appointed bosses should have known what she was doing more-so than the President, yet they claim to be in the dark.

    May 22, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  24. truth hurts but reality bites

    Sniffit
    Can't say I blame her. Boehner has now managed highlighted precisely why people insulated Obama from this information
    -–

    Total baloney. The head of an organization should ALWAYS be kept informed of the goings on in an organization, especially it is might have major implications (criminal proceeds?) on the organization. Pleadings ignorance of illegal goings on is not a valid defense as it is your job to know what is going on. Had Obama had any experience running anything, he would know this. A person can know about what is going on and be kept up to date without interfering with or disclosing the matter.

    May 22, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    I'm pleading the 5th? You are a government employee, we pay your salary lady.
    ------------------------------------------
    She's an American citizen as well and she has a constitutional right to plead the 5th. If you don't like it, move!

    May 22, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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