IRS Places Lois Lerner on Administrative Leave Over Targeting Scandal

National   Steven Ertelt   May 23, 2013   |   5:55PM    Washington, DC

Weeks after the IRS scandal erupted over its targeting of pro-life and conservative groups, the Internal Revenue Service has finally taken action.

As National Review first reported today, Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service’s director of exempt organizations, has been placed on administrative leave.

As NR reported:

Lerner on Thursday afternoon sent an e-mail to employees in the exempt-organizations division she oversees stating, “Due to the events of recent days, I am on administrative leave starting today. An announcement will be made shortly informing you who will be acting while I am on administrative leave. I know all of you will continue to support EO’s mission during these difficult times.” She concluded, “I thank you for all your hard work and dedication,” adding, “The work you do is important.”

At a House oversight-committee hearing yesterday, Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right and refused to answer questions posed to her by lawmakers, stating only, “I did nothing wrong.” She has been at the center of the scandal roiling the IRS and the Obama administration since she clumsily planted the question that allowed her to reveal — and apologize for — the agency’s improper targeting of tea-party and other conservative groups.

CNN provided more:

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.

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.

Before this, the agency hadn’t officially reprimanded a single staffer over it.

With the scandal concerning the IRS and its targeting of pro-life and conservative groups growing, national conservative activists held nationwide rallies today at IRS offices across the country.

Reports indicate President Barack Obama’s top attorney knew in April that the Internal Revenue Service was targeting pro-life and conservative groups. The reports show Obama’s top lawyer was notified in April that the Treasury Department’s inspector general had finished an audit of the IRS over the allegations.

The IRS will soon face more than controversy and Congressional hearings over its discrimination of pro-life and conservative groups. The federal agency will soon find itself in court.

The news comes as a report shows James Dobson, the pro-life family advocate, disclosed that he was a victim of IRS discrimination because he spoke out against pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

Obama addressed the massive IRS scandal and promised it would never happen again.

“I’ll do everything in my power to make sure this never happens again,” he promised.

The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced he will hold a hearing on the IRS scandal this week. The federal agency has targeted pro-life groups as well as conservative and religious organizations.

In one case LifeNews has profiled, a pro-life group was told it had to promote abortion. A top pro-life legal group also informed LifeNews that cases it handled support mounting accusations that demonstrate the agency’s abuse of pro-life organizations.