May 22nd, 2013
10:41 AM ET
11 months 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. truth hurts but reality bites

    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.
    --

    Absolutely untrue. CEOs are responsible for having all of the policies ad procedures in place that ensure any type of criminal behavior within a company is reported up the chain of command and dealt with appropriately, including involving law enforcement. Failure to do so is not a defense and is in fact a participation in the criminal matter if you conceal it and do not report it. Has anybody here tried to plead ignorance of the law to the IRS?! Did they say , oh yeah, no problem, go along your merry way?!! NOT A CHANCE!

    May 22, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. PaulCat

    The house oversight committee better know what they're doing. When the IRS go back and re-read their policy, all of the approved teaparty 501(c)(4) will be revised.

    As always, they just don't think. They are not hurting Obama. They are going to hurt the teaparty tax status. A tax status they should never have had.

    May 22, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. rob

    Malory

    The name Tea Party in an organization's name is not an excuse for "closer scrutiny" unless your inclined to want to politically silence them. Read the questionaires sent to some of these groups from our IRS. They wanted to know what "Books" they were reading, if they associated with certain persons etc. etc. Democrat Senators like Levin, Schumer and others sent letters demanding the IRS investigated certain groups over others who were applying for the same status. These groups had names which incliuded the phrase "Progressive" in them. Why weren't they targeted for extra scrutiny????

    It seems that you and Rudy and Sniffit etc are ok with unleashing the IRS on groups with ideologies differing with yours. As I said, welcome to the new world of Democratic totalitarianism. I hope your happy when they eventually come after you all when you dare to speak up in disagreement.

    May 22, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Malory Archer – You poor anti-American. Try to come up with your own ideas on these posts while you're at it.

    Your anger and hatred is showing.

    May 22, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Data Driven

    @Lack Thereof,

    Remove her first, THEN investigate? That's not accountability, that's banana republic "justice". Let's determine if she has done anything wrong first, shall we?

    And don't think that her future role as ACA head in IRS isn't going unnoticed. Leads one to speculate that this an interference maneuver by conservatives to gum up implementation of Obamacare. You guys better have something; so far, you have opinions and no actual evidence of law-breaking.

    May 22, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    The ignorance of the left would be laughable if it wasn't so sad.

    May 22, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    While the repugs are trying to bring the man and the country down giving tea trolls controlled by millionaires tax exempt status let's talk about a story that really affects us about our one and only planet.
    Last week while the repugs cried in their milk the level of carbon monoxide in our atmosphere went above what is safe for humans, animals and plants.
    Maybe they should switch to our climate problems and top wasting our money rehashing everything old like them!
    Wait, they don't believe in climate change because they don't believe in science and facts. How silly of me.

    May 22, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. just askin

    Data Driven
    And don't think that her future role as ACA head in IRS isn't going unnoticed. Leads one to speculate that this an interference maneuver by conservatives to gum up implementation of Obamacare. You guys better have something; so far, you have opinions and no actual evidence of law-breaking.
    --

    this is the second posting from the rabid lefties in here with total misinofrmation. lois lerner is not the person heading the aca section at the irs, it will be her boss sarah hall ingram. how misinformed can you people possibly be?! or is it ignorance or incompetence, which seems to be in abundance these days in the obama adminstration? geez, please try and keep up children.

    May 22, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "The name Tea Party in an organization's name is not an excuse for "closer scrutiny" unless your inclined to want to politically silence them"

    Interesting that you put it that way: according to the laws governing 501(c)(4), in order to obtain and retain your tax-exempt status, you have to remain politically silent. Now, in light of that fact, would you like to tell the class why an organization naming itself after a political movement might draw extra scrutiny?

    The fact of the matter is that this "scandal" has been turned on its head. The favoritism that was shown wasn't in the IRS scrutinizing Teatroll organizations....it was in the supposed failure to similarly scrutinize others. EVERY SINGLE ONE of these organizations should have had to answer extra questions if there was even a whiff of political intention to their formation. What the IRS did to these groups was proper and the failing was in the apparent lack of similar scrutiny of groups that had other obvious political leanings. But, the MSM and GOP/Teatrolls being what they are, the premise has immediately become persecution and victimhood. Why? Because the MSM wants to ride the 501(c)(4) political advertisement gravy train and doesn't want to see it dry up, so the focus has to be premised entirely on the assumption that the scrutiny was what was wrong, not the lack of scrutiny of other groups. It's backwards.

    501(c)(4) was and is getting abused horribly, but it makes a lot of powerful people a lot of money, so the story is going to be stilted to act as if nobody was doing anything wrong and that this kind of scrutiny needs to stop, when in fact it should continue, across the board, and should be accompanied by strict regulatory standards that prevent the kind of political shenanigans these groups are involved in.

    May 22, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. snarkyarkie

    that so many dems on here are excusing speaks volumes, what hypocrites, what audacity they show, they don't even deserve a country like ours (used to be), people who would condone the IRS actions should be considered enemies of the state

    May 22, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. truth hurts but reality bites

    You know this type of targeting appears to have extended well beyond the IRS. There are reports of the Labor Dept., ATF, and EPA showing up at peoples door for audits or inspections shortly after they were targetted by the IRS. Now how would all of that be a coincidence? It is becoming clearer and clearer that there was somebody coordinating these types of targetting activities between these multiple agencies. I wonder where all these departments report to?

    May 22, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Malory Archer

    The ignorance of the right would be laughable if it wasn't so sad.

    May 22, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. Malory Archer

    snarkyarkie

    that so many dems on here are excusing speaks volumes, what hypocrites, what audacity they show, they don't even deserve a country like ours (used to be), people who would condone the IRS actions should be considered enemies of the state

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

    What are the dems here excusing? Example please?

    May 22, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. rob

    Rudy

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

    It getts better and better, now the FBI should be involved? LOL Just an example of the road your going down. You've heard of the Associated Press news agency? They carry political water for this Admin and Dems in particular but somehow they were subjected to a SECRET confiscation of their phone records by our "Justice" dept for two months because of a dubious National security matter after it was deemed by CIA to be over. This has put a chill in anyone who would be approached by the press for information.

    Totalitarian regimes don't always just take over the institutions of the free press, they slowly intimidate them with these kind of tactics designed to stop information they don't like from being reported.

    I'm not saying this administration is there but I feel if the media and other politicians don't put a stop to these kind of activities early, no telling what the next one will attempt...either party by the way.

    May 22, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. just sayin

    wake up people... this whole irs thing was about one thing and one thing only. suppressing the tea party vote. all the time the lefties were screaming about others doing it, they were busy using the irs to do their dirty work. they kept hundreds of tea party and conservative organizations side lined for two elections. this may be the largest case of election tampering in this country's history.

    May 22, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    this is the second posting from the rabid lefties in here with total misinofrmation. lois lerner is not the person heading the aca section at the irs, it will be her boss sarah hall ingram.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Oh "it will be HER BOSS sarah Ingram".
    Well then THAT makes all the diference in the world.
    Absolutely, once they are done interrogating Ms. Lerner they won't even dream of pulling in her BOSS.
    Are you really that dense?
    Just asking.

    May 22, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    rob wrote:

    .... You've heard of the Associated Press news agency? They carry political water for this Admin and Dems in particular but somehow they were subjected to a SECRET confiscation of their phone records by our "Justice" dept for two months because of a dubious National security matter after it was deemed by CIA to be over. ...
    ----------------
    SECRET? The AP found out because the administration followed the law and notified them about it. Don't forget that Republicans blocked a bill that would have outlawed these actions. And, PLEASE don't forget that the GWB administration just simply threw a reporter in jail for not revealing their sources. Throwing people in jail is what totalitarians do, not send you a letter saying that we followed the law.

    May 22, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  18. rob

    @Sniffit, I agree to a certian extent. If these laws are sooooo baaaddd then instead of United States Senators demanding the IRS invetigate certain right leaning groups who are working within the curretnt law, Why don't they as LEGISLATORS INTRODUCE LEGILATION CHANGING THE LAW ????

    As far as the CLASS Sniffy, I read your reprinting of the California groups mission statement and it doesn't sound so different from say a teachers union or countless other left leaning groups might say. As I said, if you think the law is wrong then try to get it changed through the legislative process. Don't try to use the IRS or any other Gov't entity to silence groups who disagree with you politically.

    May 22, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "is whole irs thing was about one thing and one thing only. suppressing the tea party vote."

    Yawn, more projection? Don't you guys have any other tactics than "I know you are but what am I?" followed by an orgy of Godwin's Law violations and appeals to bigotry?

    May 22, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. Asher

    Isn't it just par for the course that she will be rewarded with Obamacare. You couldn't write stories that good. Evidently Lerner was rewarded for political thuggery in a supposed non-political organization. What comes around goes around and she deserves good legal representation and heres hoping she has to pay for it.

    May 22, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "don't forget that the GWB administration just simply threw a reporter in jail for not revealing their sources."

    Yeah, but the MSM didn't get all that outraged then because IOKIYAR. Everyone put on your clown shoes and do the IOKIYAR dance!!!!!

    May 22, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. just askin

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    this is the second posting from the rabid lefties in here with total misinofrmation. lois lerner is not the person heading the aca section at the irs, it will be her boss sarah hall ingram.
    -----------------
    Oh "it will be HER BOSS sarah Ingram".
    Well then THAT makes all the diference in the world.
    Absolutely, once they are done interrogating Ms. Lerner they won't even dream of pulling in her BOSS.
    Are you really that dense?
    Just asking.
    -–

    gee.... i was expecting an apology from you for posting bogus information for the world to read and a thank you to me for correcting it! like i said... rabid lefties. just makin' it up as they go and hoping some of it sticks.

    May 22, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "but somehow they were subjected to a SECRET confiscation of their phone records by our "Justice" dept "

    No, not "somehow." The somehow is existing laws, a federal judge signing off on warrants (with respect to Rosen) and the GOP/Teatrolls filibustering the Media Shield law last time it was brought up. There was nothing illegal done whatsoever. If we don't like it, the answer is to repeal or amend inappropriate laws and pass appropriate laws to prevent it AND that law is now on the table, again, and you better pay very careful attention to who opposes it because it's likely to be the same people who shot it down last time.

    May 22, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  24. rob

    Rudy

    Your whole statement is completely FALSE. First The AP found out after the fact. Its usual practice to inform them during the investigation, AND, it is considered an extremely over broad grab of the AP's phone records. Second, GWB did not "just simply threw a reporter in jail for not revealing their sources" It was the Special Counsel Mr. Fitzpatric that ordered that while he was investigating the Bush Administrations NON outing of a CIA operative.

    May 22, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. just sayin

    Rudy NYC
    ------
    SECRET? The AP found out because the administration followed the law and notified them about it
    -–

    yes, secret. they were informed well after the massive intrusion occurred. the most used approach is to work with the ap to get the information but the justice dept. can skip that if they think informing them will endanger the investgation. problem in this case was the ap was already cooperating with them. this was total abuse by the justice dept. there was no narrow investgation but a broad all encompassing two month vacuuming of information violating the rights of hundreds if not thousands of citizens who may have had dealings with the ap.

    May 22, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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