IRS official Lerner: ‘I did nothing wrong’
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Internal Revenue Service official at the center of the storm over the agency’s targeting of conservative groups told Congress on Wednesday that she had done nothing wrong in the episode, and then invoked her constitutional right to refuse to answer lawmakers’ questions.
In one of the most electric moments since the IRS controversy erupted nearly two weeks ago, Lois Lerner defended herself during a brief appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The committee is investigating the agency’s improper targeting of tea party and other conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, and Lerner oversees the IRS office that processes applications for that status.
“I have done nothing wrong,” said a stern-looking Lerner, sitting next to three other witnesses and reading from a written statement. “I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations and I have not provided false information to this or any other committee.”
Lerner then said she would invoke her Fifth Amendment right to avoid incriminating herself. Nine minutes after she began speaking, committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., excused her and Lerner left the hearing room through a rear door, escorted by her lawyer and several other men. SOURCE
I say this in ALL confidence; Lois Lerner is either the most incredibly STUPID individual in America or she thinks that everyone else is.
I am not a lawyer, I don’t play one on TV and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn last night but I have been in Court a few times over the years and I know this, no one says, “I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations and I have not provided false information to this or any other committee.” and then immediately invokes the Fifth Amendment unless they really ARE guilty of all the things they just denied and are planning on keeping their mouth shut to save themselves from what could be a jail sentence, a good, long jail sentence.
There is one other thing that Lois Lerner may have on her mind; immunity.
If that is the case, and if she were to be granted immunity from prosecution, the Fifth Amendment would go by the wayside and she could indeed sing like a guilty bird.
Maybe that’s why committee Chairman Darrell Issa excused her, perhaps there is a deal in the works, because if that’s not the case, if she can just get up there and declare her innocence, invoke the Fifth Amendment and then walk FREE, a precedent has just been set that will throw the American legal system into a state of utter chaos.
Can you imagine? The Police find a ton of meth in the back of some van that a local tweaker is driving and when said tweaker goes to Court for arraignment he stands there scratching his arms and proclaiming his innocence and then invokes the Fifth.