Saturday, May 25, 2013

You Don't Claim the 5th and then Open Your Yap

The IRS official at the center of a scandal over the targeting of Tea Party groups refused to answer questions by a House committee Wednesday, saying she did nothing wrong but was nevertheless invoking her right not to testify against herself. 
Now, Congress could use that same denial of wrongdoing to justify forcing her to come back and answer more questions about her office's targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny for more than two years.
"I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules and regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee," said Lois Lerner, IRS director of exempt organizations. 
"Because I am asserting my right not to testify, some people will assume I have done something wrong. I have not. One of the basic functions of the Fifth Amendment is to protect innocent individuals. That is the protections I am invoking today," she told a House Oversight Committee investigating why the IRS held up applications for tax-exempt status submitted by Tea Party groups. 
Then, in response to a question from Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., she confirmed the authenticity of a document described as her written statement to the IRS inspector general last year. "This appears to be my response," she said.
Read the rest HERE.

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