IRS Official To Assert Fifth Amendment Right At U.S. House Hearing


irs.jpgLois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official who revealed the agency was giving extra scrutiny to conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, will assert her constitutional right not to answer questions to a congressional committee on Wednesday, her lawyer said in a letter obtained by Reuters.

“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” Lerner’s attorney, William Taylor, wrote to the chairman of the House of Representatives committee that is holding hearings into the IRS.

Taylor said he had advised Lerner to assert her Fifth Amendment right due to allegations made by the committee chairman, Darrell Issa, that she had provided false and misleading information to Congress.

Issa has issued a subpoena to demand that Lerner attend his panel’s hearing on Wednesday, the third in less than two weeks since the scandal first erupted, according to a second document obtained by Reuters.



  1. For a civil servant, that is tantamount to a confession of guilt. It puts pressure on the Justice Department to prosecute. In Watergate, the trial judge forced the lower ranking offenders to “name names” by threatening serious sentences. The House may be able to grant her immunity, and they also have the option to call all the underlings in the office.