House Republicans Lead Contempt Charge Against Lerner
With a 231-187 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives held former Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress. Backed mostly by Republican officials, the contempt charge was due to Lerner exercising the Fifth Amendment to prevent self-incrimination during the investigation over the IRS’ targeting of conservative-based groups. Republicans, however, believe Lerner waived her right once she claimed innocence while appearing in front of the House Oversight Committee last year. Before the vote took place, Rep. Richard Nugent (R-FL) stated, “Mrs. Lerner made 17 separate factual assertions before invoking her right to remain silent. You can’t make selective assertions and still invoke your Fifth Amendment right.”
A report later concluded that Lerner’s staff had improperly sought Tea Party and other groups to rid them of tax exemptions. For the full story, click here.