Committee: Lois Lerner Waived Her 5th Amendment Right
July 1, 2013
On a vote of 22-17, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
today approved a resolution determining that IRS official Lois Lerner
waived her 5th amendment rights when at a May 22, 2013 hearing she
offered testimony and answered questions.
“Today’s vote brings us closer to hearing Ms. Lerner’s important
testimony about the targeting of conservatives,” said Committee Chairman
Darrell Issa, R-Calif. “The Committee remains focused on hearing Ms.
Lerner’s full and truthful testimony.”
Lerner was the Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS during the
time that political groups applying for tax exempt status were being
targeted for extra scrutiny. As such, she is in a unique position to
answer key questions about the targeting. On May 22, after being
subpoenaed to testify, Lerner appeared before the Committee and gave a
voluntary opening statement denying any wrongdoing and stating that she
intended to invoke her Fifth Amendment right. Several Committee members
raised objections, contending the witness had effectively waived her
Fifth Amendment right by reading a self-selected and entirely voluntary
opening statement that was entered into the record. After conferring
with counsel, Issa allowed Lerner to leave and later recessed the
hearing so the issue may be resolved.
Committee defeated an amendment offered by Congresswoman Eleanor
Holmes-Norton, D-D.C., to effectively kill the resolution by a vote of
Click here to view Chairman Issa’s opening statement, and click here to
view comments by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-SC., a Committee member and former
state and federal prosecutor, who outlined the specific statements Ms.
Lerner made which caused her to waived her 5th amendment right. Full
markup details will be posted here within 24 hours.
You can find a copy of the resolution here.