IRS official Lois Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment Wednesday morning at a Congressional hearing attempting to uncover more answers about why the IRS, during the Obama administration, has targeted pro-life and conservative groups.
House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) walked out of his own hearing after Lerner refused, again, to testify. Lerner, the Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division during the targeting, ad previously invoked the Fifth Amendment in response to questions from Issa’s committee.
Below is video of her stonewalling the panel once again.
Katie Pavlich of TownHall has more on what happened:
Earlier this week, Lerner’s attorney William Taylor confirmed to Committee members in an email that she would testify. Lerner was issued a subpoena last summer after admitting the IRS singled out conservative groups for extra scrutiny.
“On the advice of my counsel I respectfully exercise my fifth amendment right and decline to answer that question,” Lerner said.
Last year, Lerner was called to testify in front of the same Committee where she also invoked her Fifth Amendment rights after making the statement, “I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws, I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.” The Committee voted and concluded that because Lerner made a statement before pleading the Fifth, she effectively waved her Fifth Amendment rights.
When asked by Chairman Darrell Issa if she believed there wasn’t a smidgen of corruption inside the IRS when it came to the inappropriate targeting of tea party and conservative groups, Lerner answered, “On the advice of my counsel I respectfully exercise my fifth amendment right and decline to answer that question.”
The Committee hearing was quickly dismissed after Issa put contempt charges for Lerner on the table.
“Ladies and gentlemen, seeking the truth is the duty of this committee and I see no point in moving forward,” Issa said. “We’re adjourned, close it down.”