May 22nd, 2013
10:41 AM ET
2 years 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. ghostriter

    truth hurts but reality bites,

    No CEO takes the fall for an underling. Is the CEO ultimately responsible for his employees? Yes. Criminally responsible, no. Nor is a CEO expected to know everything that goes on in every nook and cranny of his company.

    Why do you think republicans are trying so hard to find a link to Obama? It's not enough that it went on in his administration. That is clear enough. And more than enough to complain about. But no....republicans have to tie this directly to Obama. Mostly because they have seen that they can't really win on the merits of their ideals and actions. Nope, they figure their only way is to discredit Obama and democrats enough to win in 2016.

    May 22, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. just sayin

    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!
    ---

    and we as american citizens who pay her salary and expect her to do her job according to the laws of this country, demand she be removed and investigated to determine what laws she may have broken. it is called accoutability, which is a very foreign concept to liberals and democrats.

    May 22, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    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.
    ------
    If you're going to excuse Obama for every scandal that hits he truly is your messiah and that's quite pathetic.

    May 22, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Malory Archer

    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.

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

    They're attemptiong to bury all these so-called "scandals" in an effort to save face after falling hook, line & sinker for for the rightwing's lies and espionage from which these so-called "scandals" were fabricated. Honestly, you should be thanking them for doing so. Otherwise the Dems might get he bright idea to open a couple of investigations into who leaked classified information that endangered several mideastern informants, their entire families, their co-workers and even casual acquaintences. And if that ever happened President Obama would never be able to shut down GITMO.

    May 22, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Borderless

    Most corrupt administration ever. If they manage to get one of Obama's minions to talk, they would probably find enough to give him jail time. Worst president ever.

    May 22, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Borderless

    Lerner: "I've done nothing wrong. If I testify, I will incriminate myself."

    May 22, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    She shouldn't say anything to them. They've been grumbling about a criminal investigation, which seems to be focusing in on her. It would be most unwise for her to testify on the record. You're innocent until proven guilty. She has broken no laws that they can point at. If she had, she would already be criminally charged. Republicans wouldn't waste a moment locking her up, so that they can hang an axe over head and say, "Tell us what you know about Obama."

    I still say that something that began with the best intentions has been mischaracterized and distorted. If a "non-political" group has the phrase "tea party" in its' name, then they deserve a closer look. Let's not loose site of the fact that conservative groups without those keywords did not trip the warning bells. The phrase "tea party" has become directly linked to political activism. They deserved closer scrutiny.

    May 22, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Malory Archer

    just sayin

    and we as american citizens who pay her salary and expect her to do her job according to the laws of this country, demand she be removed and investigated to determine what laws she may have broken. it is called accoutability, which is a very foreign concept to liberals and democrats.

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

    Funny how when the liberals & dems tried to hold the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and his crew accountable for their numerous crimes and global human rights violations we were called "sore losers" and told to "get over it". Nope, your ilk has no credibility and are the LAST group of people who should accuse other of crimes and demand accountability.

    May 22, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. Malory Archer

    Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    If you're going to blame President Obama for every so-called "scandal" that the reichwing fabricates that proves you don't care about being lied to by YOUR "messiahs" and THAT'S BEYOND pathetic.

    May 22, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "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."

    Keeping it from Obama avoids the appearance of him influencing the investigation. You're just mad because that's precisely what you want to accuse him of doing...interfering, covering up, etc. etc....and the fact that you're scrambling to make that accusation, and oh so frustrated that you can't, proves the value of keeping the top dog away from it. Had they told him, you'd either be trying to lynch him for knowing and not immediately running to a press conference about it OR if he had done that, you'd be trying to lynch him for interfering with the investigation and "politicizing" it. We should be just as concerned with the actual fair and equitable carrying out of justice as we are that the appearance of the integrity and impartiality in our systems is protected.

    As for most of your other nonsense, no organization would run properly or efficiently if the top dog had to be made aware of every single little thing going on. He delegates his authority and power and oversight to others for a reason. Obama was informed as soon as the investigation was over and preliminary conclusions had been made. That's the appropriate time for those to whom he delegated those responsibilities to bring it to his attention so it can be acted on.

    May 22, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. John, PA

    it's time for people from the top down to resign, RESIGN Effect immediatly!

    IRS tea-party bloodbath continues in Congress, as evidence emerges that IRS's own internal probe ended in May 2012, six months before election, but was hidden from legislators.

    May 22, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. Asher

    I have words to describe her but they are not printable. If there is not a criminal investigation on the IRS about these matters there is something wrong with our country. I would start with Lerner and go for the throat. There are those who will defend these actions but in America whatever your political affiliation people do not like bullies and thugs. Take it the hard way or the easy way but there will be consequences and I have contacted all my congressmen to affirm my expectations.

    May 22, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lois Lerner. Isn't she the person in charge of the ACA within the IRS?
    If she is it is most incumbent upon the Republicans conducting this hunt-to-nowhere to pin something on her if only to throw a huge monkey wrench on the complete implementation of Obamacare.

    May 22, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. rob

    @Rudy NYC

    "The phrase "tea party" has become directly linked to political activism. They deserved closer scrutiny."

    Really ????? So an organization with a name that you, or more importantly, our INDEPENDENT IRS subjectively decide is worthy of closer scrutiny is ok with you ??? It is called Totalitarianism Rudy and I hope your still ok with it whan they start coming after you.

    May 22, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. Malory Archer

    If a "non-political" group has the phrase "tea party" in its' name, then they deserve a closer look.

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

    Especially considering there is an official Tea Party political party who had candidates on ballots all over the United States in 2012, and local Tea Party groups officially endorsed candidates.

    May 22, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "hidden from legislators."

    Issa knew of the investigations, at latest, as of July 2012.

    May 22, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There are old and new investigations going on now. We should wait until they are done. People have either been fired or resigned from the IRS at this point.

    @John PA - Issa had the report that you "claim" was hidden from legislators. Why didn't he say anything before? He didn't like Romney and was trying to keep his seat from a quick glance at things.

    May 22, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. Malory Archer

    rob

    @Rudy NYC

    "The phrase "tea party" has become directly linked to political activism. They deserved closer scrutiny."

    Really ????? So an organization with a name that you, or more importantly, our INDEPENDENT IRS subjectively decide is worthy of closer scrutiny is ok with you ??? It is called Totalitarianism Rudy and I hope your still ok with it whan they start coming after you.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Local Tea Party groups officially endorsed candidates during the 2012 elections so yes, Tea Party goups should be scrutnized in order to clarify that the political groups aren't trying to take advantage to the true social welfare groups' status.

    May 22, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. SirJustyn

    This is just more proof, that the country as we know it is GONE. Congress, House, Presidents aren't focus on building a strong America, they are focus on destroying the middle class. No Tea Party names needs a closer look, the terrorist in this country are the lobbyist whom convince people to sell out. The Fall of America is here. We are just watching it's slow death, and very few people are trying to do anything to stop it. My advice to anyone reading this, get out of debt, grow your own food, and learn to live on a lot less money then you are right now.

    May 22, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    rob

    @Rudy NYC

    "The phrase "tea party" has become directly linked to political activism. They deserved closer scrutiny."

    Really ????? So an organization with a name that you, or more importantly, our INDEPENDENT IRS subjectively decide is worthy of closer scrutiny is ok with you ??? It is called Totalitarianism Rudy and I hope your still ok with it whan they start coming after you.
    --------------------
    Totalitarianism? Getting a bit overdramatic, I would say. No, it's all about the right wing's arrogant ignorance. Some group called the "NorCal Tea Party Patriots" has filed a lawsuit because they were scrutinized. Here's how their mission statement reads, and I quote.

    "NorCal Tea Party began as a local group in Colfax, California. When growth and interest exceeded all expectations, a coordinated effort was launched to unite other Tea Party groups and work together to increase effectiveness and have their voices heard.

    NorCal Tea Party’s works to provide an umbrella of support, training, motivation and information to its members and other Tea Party groups in the Northern California area and beyond.

    NorCal Tea Party organizes as well as assist others in organizing rallies and targeted events. We have been involved in countless events that inform citizens and help them understand the issues we face and how these issues affect them.

    All of our efforts are done by volunteers who simply love their country and want to save it from a tyrannical takeover."

    Judging from the way the last line reads, they got off easy with an IRS investigation. It should have been the FBI.

    May 22, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. Anderson

    She's taking the 5th, which is her constitutional right.

    Just like the 2nd amendment is the right for all you gun lovers.

    It's her Right, but it is not her right if she's not a teaparty/GOP person. RIGHT?

    May 22, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Malory Archer

    Asher

    I have words to describe her but they are not printable. If there is not a criminal investigation on the IRS about these matters there is something wrong with our country.

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

    If there's no a criminal investigation, congress is going to have some explaining to do!

    May 22, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. the fish rots from the head

    One thing is for sure.... All of Obama's supporters in here are left with two lines of defense, ignorance and/or incompetence. I sure don't recall that being their slogan in the last election. But of course, they have to resort to these because to admit criminality at this point would mean their demise in 2014 and beyond.

    Proving the criminality will have ot be left to a Special Prosecutor at this point as we will now see nothing but people pleady the 5th. I don't often agree with Democrat's but Stephen Lynch was absolutely correct. For the sake of the IRS and and this country, all the criminals in the IRS that would abuse their power and target people and organizations based on their political beliefs need to rooted out and prosecuted. If they are not then we will have been fundmentally transformed into a third rate Banana Republic.

    May 22, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. just askin

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    Lois Lerner. Isn't she the person in charge of the ACA within the IRS?
    If she is it is most incumbent upon the Republicans conducting this hunt-to-nowhere to pin something on her if only to throw a huge monkey wrench on the complete implementation of Obamacare.
    -–

    no it is not. you will have to work on and pursue another bogus pack of lies to try and hide behind.

    May 22, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Malory Archer wrote:

    Local Tea Party groups officially endorsed candidates during the 2012 elections so yes, Tea Party goups should be scrutnized in order to clarify that the political groups aren't trying to take advantage to the true social welfare groups' status.
    ------------------–
    This is what the NorCal Tea Party Patriots posted a week before election day last November.

    "Click the link below for a PDF document providing a listing of all local NON-PARTISAN voter recommendations. 2012 Local Voter Recommendations by NorCal Tea Party"

    They had the gall to post a list of "recommendations", and yet stil claim they are not primarily a political organization.

    May 22, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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