May 23rd, 2013
05:45 PM ET
8 years 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."

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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. QS

    Man, conservatives really hate it when other people have rights of their own, don't they?!

    Somebody needs to place Issa on administrative leave...permanently.

    May 23, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. b0bc@t

    When you are down, under the bus, in the gutter.... the whole world is "looking up'

    May 23, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. BooHooGOP

    Sorry GOP, the story doesn't end with Obama's tenure. Every day your philosophies are discredited by a growing majority. Your agenda is abandoned and will never advance again regardless of who is sitting in the WH. Like segregation, your view of the world is thankfully on the rubbish heap of history.

    May 23, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  4. JjkName

    If advised by counsel to use your 5th Amendment rights , who wouldn't ?
    And this baloney that she waived them by making an opening statement before invoking is laughable.
    I agree that she should be put on leave until this issue of her involvement is resolved.

    May 23, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  5. ColdWarVet75

    She is not an employee covered under the NTEU contract. She is a political appointee, therefore by refusing to answer questions of a congressional committee she should be fired. Ultimately she will be spoken to be some underling that if she keeps her mouth shut she will be given some job somewhere and taken care of. That's the Chicago Way.

    May 23, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. dj

    Looks like old Lois is also gonna get thrown under the bus..eventually this is going to lead us right up to the white house....

    May 23, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. Enough Lying!

    This is not a game, come clean, squeal on the evil ones, and save yourself Lois!

    May 23, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. Robert

    Did the IRS grant tax exempt status to groups primarily functioning for political purposes? Was enough scrutiny given to some of these 'targeted' groups if their primary functions were political? Was the mistake the IRS really made giving tax exempt status to groups whose primary function was political? In Ms. Lerner's opening statement, she mentioned possible knowledge of the political ambitions of some of these groups. What was the extent of the IRS's awareness of the politically inclined intentions of these so called targeted groups? Should the IRS give out tax exempt status willy nilly?

    May 23, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. Dan Johnson

    Oh, ok. She commits a federal offense so they put her on vacation?? SHE WOULD BE FIRED ANYWHERE ELSE!!! Only in a government job would they do this. Another reason to distrust our politicians and government bureaucracy

    May 23, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  10. Enough Lies!

    Come clean Lois, tell the truth about the evil ones! You can do it... come on.

    May 23, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  11. PJ

    Does that mean she will be paid for doing Congress?

    May 23, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  12. brian gettys

    That's just great. At least she can draw a paycheck from the taxpayers she harassed.

    May 23, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. Meh

    I imagine most people would get the same treatment if they refused to answer questions from their bosses.

    May 23, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. TonyGa

    Tip of the tyrannical iceberg....

    May 23, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  15. pchelp, Juneau, AK

    According to the GOP you waive your right to remain silence when you break your silence to claim your right to remain silent. Yes, that is a major idiocy-but that's the way the GOP works.

    May 23, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  16. Ken Barr

    She is being paid not to work and not cooperating with congressional hearing as required of all government employees. As a retired fed employee I know I would have been fired the first time I took the fifth.

    May 23, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. Tony C

    Nice. I'm going into the office tomorrow and taking the fifth. I hope I also get an extended paid vacation out of it.

    May 23, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. Big Kitchen

    CNN-You didn't even cover this monumental story the past two days and today you bury it with excluding significant focuses. You are again labeling yourself as a radical left wing propaganda tool rather than an actual "NEWS" source. Every news source puts their spin on the news, but the difference with you and the majority of network and cable news shows is the sin of omissions. Either that or you bury it with such a spin on the facts reporting it days, weeks or even months after it comes to light. Integrity has been thrown out of the window. I pray for you. Fox is horrible, but you are so extreme in this I don't see how any of you can sleep at nights.

    May 23, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  19. martino

    lets see how long they leave open discussion on this..... if she knew they were targeting 2 weeks ago and says she has done nothing wrong, then we got to go up the ladder Mr. President the buck stops at your desk!! remember?

    May 23, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  20. steve

    she's done
    what a liar

    May 23, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  21. California

    Paid leave. Awesome

    May 23, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  22. Richard Long

    She knows too much. Time to send in the drone.

    May 23, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  23. Just

    Plead the 5th. Plead for job now. This whole IRS thing is more bizarre every new minute.

    May 23, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. Mimic

    Paid leave. That always teaches someone a lesson. 'Son, take your X-box, cellphone, and this pizza, go to your room and think about what you've done'

    May 23, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  25. Bluedestiny

    What does that mean, "planted question"? I swear to goodness, CNN doesn't complete ANY story cohesively.

    May 23, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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