May 23rd, 2013
05:45 PM ET
1 year ago

IRS official Lois Lerner placed on administrative leave

Washington (CNN) – The Internal Revenue Service official overseeing the unit that targeted conservative groups for several years beginning in the spring of 2010 has been placed on administrative leave, according to Congressional sources in both parties.

Lois Lerner was the director of exempt organizations when the agency filtered applications for tax exempt status for words such as "patriot" and "tea party."

She publicly revealed the targeting two weeks ago in her answer to a planted question at a bar association event in Washington shortly before an inspector general report on the matter was made public.

The agency's new acting director announced late Thursday he was appointing Ken Corbin, who was deputy director of unit which processes tax returns and payments, to oversee the exempt organizations unit.

Lerner appeared before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday and stated she had not broken any laws or agency regulations. She then invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and declined to answer questions.

Republicans questioned whether she waived that right by making her opening statement.

Committee Chairman Darrell Issa will call her back to testify before the committee, his spokesman said earlier on Thursday.


Filed under: IRS
soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. WalrusJohn

    So she gets a paid vacation?

    May 23, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  2. don in albuquerque

    Me thinks Issa has channeled Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder General.

    May 23, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Whether she invokes the fifth or not should be immaterial. The woman was/is a government employee being questioned regarding possible illegal activity and she invokes a right not to incriminate herself consequent to proclaiming that she has broken no laws? Well if she's broken no laws, how can she possibly incriminate herself? When did honesty become a luxury in this country having nothing whatsoever to do with the ways in which people now behave.

    May 23, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  4. None

    Whether she invokes the fifth or not should be immaterial. The woman was/is a government employee being questioned regarding possible illegal activity and she invokes a right not to incriminate herself consequent to proclaiming that she has broken no laws? Well if she's broken no laws, how can she possibly incriminate herself? When did honesty become a luxury in this country having nothing whatsoever to do with the ways in which people now behave.

    May 23, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. Evergreen

    ..."targeted conservative groups for several years beginning 2010"... and ending in 2012. CNN, how is that several years?

    May 23, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  6. what's up

    It's going to be fun watching the clueless clown in the white house, and his people go down. Hopefully, there will be prison time for all of them!

    May 23, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    She did in fact waive her rights. Twist it any way you want libs but the fact stands.

    May 23, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  8. Alex

    You can't have it both ways so she did waive her rights. They should haul her butt back and she better tell us everything she knows...but that won't happen.

    May 23, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  9. John Lubeck

    You know the country is in deep, deep, trouble (if you did not before) when Darrel Issa is in charge of anything more than a lemonade stand.

    May 23, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  10. vemaseku

    This was unforgivable and she needs to be fired and bring her to testify .paid leave!!!! Who ever allowed her to leave on pay must have had connection in the crime. That boss of hers need to be interrogated . This is very rude and dis respectable not to testify and take responsibility . This was clearly a misuse of power and the contempt of law. She needs to step out and her boss who is paying her on leave to escape the crime.

    May 23, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. chill

    You can claim the 5th whenever you want, but I don't suppose the Republicans ever read past the 2nd Amendment.

    May 23, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  12. Javi Lopez

    Where is tat little fact it is temporary and WITH FULL PAY, while doing whatever she wants in the time off. Come on CNN? You have a chance to show you really are not bias.x

    May 23, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  13. Jewels

    How much do you bet that she's just a fall-guy just being used to show that action was taken?

    May 23, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. Wendell Daar

    Does this mean that any government official can can do what they want to the American citizen and plead the 'fifth'? Where will this stop? What is next/ Will the police be allowed to harass and arrest wrongly and then plead the fifth. Any government official who writes or enforces laws on the citizens of America should NOT be allowed to plead the fifth on such actions. When this is allowed, the can be no accountability .

    May 23, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. petroskies

    that the way the justice work under the administrations of Mr. Obama work, put the criminal on administrative leave with full pay until she was cleared from any wrong doing, she invoked her fifth amendment right to keep herself free of any sin.

    May 23, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. Data Driven

    Big whoop. I, for one, am getting less and less interested in the minutiae of this witchhunt du jour.

    May 23, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. uncdig

    so far in obamas tenure he has not fired anyone involved in the scandals that have occurred during his watch. And before all of you Obama smoke screeners start trying to change the subject and say look over there it's Bush. I don't care about the past, I care about the present and Obama has failed to be a leader during the times of scandals in his Admin.

    May 23, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. Lou50

    hopefully the next step will be out the door and consideration of obstruction of justice charges!

    May 23, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  19. Ajax

    Dat's what happens when you don't answer dem congressmens. She been blacklisted.

    May 23, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. Eric

    Something tells me I will now cheat on my taxes from here on out. Regardless of party get your hand out of my pocket!

    May 23, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  21. Skeptacular

    I'm from Southern California, the petri dish for Darrell Issa, and I've had substantial opportunities to view his slant and technique. I think he is a partisan willing to say anything to advance his reactionary political ambitions, and his ideas are terrible – diametrically opposed to mine. That said, as regards this IRS debacle, he is right and he deserves full cooperation (as long as it doesn't stray beyond its purview) in this investigation. One of the reasons I am proud to be a Democrat is that we care most about the most people and extend ourselves to aid the most people. We push honest, thoughtful, empathic conviction. We liberals, and citizens in general, cannot allow the IRS to indulge in this sort of abuse. I think the "Tea Party" is intellectually bankrupt, but they have their convictions, and they have the right. I may not like them – or agree with them - but I stand for their rights to believe it, stand for it, and lobby for it. Anything done to disable their efforts ought to be done in public view. Anything else is cheating. Anything else makes us no better than Republican ideologues. Point being, Lerner needs to go.

    May 23, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  22. ksell83

    It is good that she got placed on leave. It was silly of her to make a comment then plead the fifth. It opens her up to contempt of congress. When the fifth is used it has to be used on all statements. (ex. look at the steroids in baseball questions from congress a few years back) Now because of the statement she can be questioned. Her lawyer is not that smart to tell her that making a statement before pleading fifth is okay.

    May 23, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  23. Jonus Grumby

    No crime was committed? Then why is she taking the fifth? Shades of Watergate...

    May 23, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  24. Debbie

    Issa questions if Lerner waived her rights...and I question why the GOP has Issa twice arrested for car theft to chair any committee.

    May 23, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  25. xlbadger

    Oh hello .... she's on leave? ... still collecting her salary? ... put her in jail and call her when she's ready to talk.

    May 23, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
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