For a second time, IRS official Lois Lerner appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. For the second time, she chose to refrain from testifying in an effort to avoid self-incrimination.
Former IRS official Lois Lerner once again refused to testify today before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Lerner is among the employees potentially involved in the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups seeking non-profit status.
“On the advice of my counsel, I respectfully exercise my Fifth Amendment right and decline to answer that question,” Lerner repeated numerous times during the hearing Wednesday when asked questions by committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).
This directly contradicts the assertions made by President Obama on Fox News, who said that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” behind the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups:
President Obama, in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, tried to put behind him the scandals that have hung over his second term, suggesting his administration did not mislead the public on the Benghazi attack and going so far as to say the IRS targeting scandal had “not even a smidgen of corruption.”
Obama addressed concerns over Benghazi, the launch of HealthCare.gov and the IRS, during the interview Sunday before the Super Bowl. He adamantly rejected the suggestion that the IRS was used for political purposes by singling out Tea Party groups seeking tax exemption.
“That’s not what happened,” he said. Rather, he said, IRS officials were confused about how to implement the law governing those kinds of tax-exempt groups.
“There were some bone-headed decisions,” Obama conceded.
But when asked whether corruption, or mass corruption, was at play, he responded: “Not even mass corruption — not even a smidgen of corruption.”
Rather than testify, Lois Lerner chose to invoke her constitutional protection against self-incrimination.
One or both of these people is lying.
One or both of these people needs to go to jail.