Patterico's Pontifications


Lois Lerner to Return?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 pm

To testify, that is. Lois Lerner has been told to come back to the Hill. The House Oversight Committee has said “no go” to her Fifth Amendment privilege, ruling that when she opened her big yap to make a comment about the controversy, she waived the privilege:

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is hauling Lois Lerner back to Congress.

Issa told Lerner’s attorney in a Tuesday letter that he expected the retired IRS official to appear before his committee on March 5.

Lerner, the official at the center of the IRS targeting controversy, invoked her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination at a May 2013 hearing, just days after she apologized for the agency’s treatment of Tea Party groups.

But the Oversight Committee later ruled that Lerner waived her rights by making an opening statement, setting the stage for her recall next week.

In his letter to William Taylor, Lerner’s attorney, Issa said that her testimony “remains critical to this committee’s investigation.”

“Because the committee explicitly rejected her Fifth Amendment privilege claim, I expect her to provide answers when the hearing reconvenes on March 5,” Issa wrote.

Unconfirmed rumors from an anonymous source sitting in this room say that she plans to waive her privilege long enough to say:


You tell ’em, Lo!

P.S. Got anything you want me to affirm on my tax statement, Lo?

60 Responses to “Lois Lerner to Return?”

  1. she’s so effing hot

    got to got to go to got to

    sit her where my face at

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  2. This shows the ineptness of Republicans. She offered up her story and refused to take questions invoking the 5th. Very cleaver.

    Bring her back and she will do it again.

    AZ Bob (533fbc)

  3. There’s a Capitol jail. And “inherent contempt power” whereby Congress could try her, sentence her, and jail her. Does Lois Lerner read the New York Times? That’s where I found it — the NYT wouldn’t lie about this, would it?

    nk (dbc370)

  4. the Times doesn’t read it’s own paper.

    narciso (3fec35)

  5. I disagree, AZ Bob. It’s good politics. Nobody likes the IRS. People pay attention when it’s mentioned. Let’s keep its abuses in the news for this election cycle. The NSA too. And yes, yes, yes, Obamacare. Benghazi and Fast and Furious may interest only the choir, but as we discussed on another thread it’s important to get the base not to stay home too.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. the IRS gets first crack at my “shared responsibiltah” but after that it’s up for grabs

    plan accordingly

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  7. yeah if you’re planning to bring a california wine for example a chardonnay or a merlot


    don’t bother

    just don’t

    me and lois have a delightful evening planned already wifout you contribooshun,


    … a delightful evening probably involving such things as enthusiastic coitus and also foreplay PLUS a boisterous round of scrabble and also gardening tips

    (learn to grow window-sill basil!)

    cause she special is why if you got sumpin to say tell yo mama

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  8. Learn to grow window sill basil:

    Get a fresh sprig of basil. Put it in a glass of tap water. Change the water at least twice a day. It should sprout rootslets. Transplant it to a small pot with potting soil. It will grow and clone lots of brother basils. Break the pot and transplant the plant and root/soil ball to a big pot with potting soil. Water adequately. Harvest as needed.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. good good

    i have a potted one i bought from fresh n easy

    it only needs a lil sun sposedly

    either way though we ain’t gonna starve

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  10. When it is of a size, the basil plant, you may stroke it gently with the palm of your hand. It will perfume both the room and your hand and it will not hurt it. It also keeps away mosquitoes.

    nk (dbc370)

  11. you should copyright that Mr. nk

    basil – the having of it – who knew it was so sensual?

    (not me that’s for sure)

    but I’m so excited to get me some basil

    i can’t even say

    I may call in sick tomorrow

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  12. It would seem that, for our Mr Feets, the aphrodisiac reputation of basil ain’t just an herban myth …

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  13. you no lie

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  14. Creasy to Victor Fuentes: I am going to ask questions. If you don’t answer fully and truthfully, you will suffer much more than you have to. I’m going to cut your fingers off. One by one, if I have to. (Man on Fire 2004)

    Bob (1d83b1)

  15. 12. People used to be hung for punning.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  16. They can toss her in jail until the end of the session. Each house of Congress has the power to arrest and hold a person for contempt without reference to the DoJ. This power hasn’t been used since 1934, but when it was used last, the Supremes ruled that Congress has this power.

    From Wikipedia:

    Following the refusal of a witness to produce documents or to testify, the Committee is entitled to report a resolution of contempt to its parent chamber. A Committee may also cite a person for contempt but not immediately report the resolution to the floor. In the case of subcommittees, they report the resolution of contempt to the full Committee, which then has the option of rejecting it, accepting it but not reporting it to the floor, or accepting it and reporting it to the floor of the chamber for action. On the floor of the House or the Senate, the reported resolution is considered privileged and, if the resolution of contempt is passed, the chamber has several options to enforce its mandate.
    Inherent contempt

    Under this process, the procedure for holding a person in contempt involves only the chamber concerned. Following a contempt citation, the person cited is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subjected to punishment as the chamber may dictate (usually imprisonment for punishment reasons, imprisonment for coercive effect, or release from the contempt citation).

    Concerned with the time-consuming nature of a contempt proceeding and the inability to extend punishment further than the session of the Congress concerned (under Supreme Court rulings), Congress created a statutory process in 1857. While Congress retains its “inherent contempt” authority and may exercise it at any time, this inherent contempt process was last used by the Senate in 1934, in a Senate investigation of airlines and the U.S. Postmaster. After a one-week trial on the Senate floor (presided over by the Vice-President of the United States, acting as Senate President), William P. MacCracken, Jr., a lawyer and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics who had allowed clients to rip up subpoenaed documents, was found guilty and sentenced to 10 days imprisonment.[5]

    MacCracken filed a petition of habeas corpus in federal courts to overturn his arrest, but after litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress had acted constitutionally, and denied the petition in the case Jurney v. MacCracken

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  17. Now, I ask you, how many tears will be shed for Ms Lerner, rotting away in the House dungeon?

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  18. not sure how many, but they will be tasty, tasty tears…

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  19. Issa is a waste of water in Cantafordya.

    mg (31009b)

  20. I have no particular love of Lerner, but it seems to me that the First and Fifth Amendments cover her. Yes, it’s frustrating, but I don’t like the idea that Congress has the authority to say “You’ve waived your rights to not say what we want you to say by saying what you want to say”. I trust Congress about as far as I could kick the Capitol Dome.

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  21. I agree about the Fifth Amendment. You can invoke it at any time, even in the middle of an interrogation when for the past hour you have been confessing your heart out. But it’s fun to do to Lois what the IRS routinely does to taxpayers — bring her in and interrogate her and make her pay for expensive lawyers.

    nk (dbc370)

  22. Also, it takes happyfeet’s mind off his hopeless, unattainable love for another, far more charming, lady.

    nk (dbc370)

  23. I look forward to Chairman Issa’s questions about the IRS’s role in behavior changing. I don’t expect Ms. Lerner to answer but it would be fun if she did.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  24. And questions about this:

    The Obama administration’s Treasury Department and former IRS official Lois Lerner conspired to draft new 501(c)(4) regulations to restrict the activity of conservative groups in a way that would not be disclosed publicly, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

    The Treasury Department and Lerner started devising the new rules “off-plan,” meaning that their plans would not be published on the public schedule. They planned the new rules in 2012, while the IRS targeting of conservative groups was in full swing, and not after the scandal broke in order to clarify regulations as the administration has suggested.

    The rules place would place much more stringent controls on what would be considered political activity by the IRS, effectively limiting the standard practices of a wide array of non-profit groups.

    These people are terrible.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  25. I assume the Treasury is one of those appendages of government that keep inexorably functioning after sustenance has been denied?

    IOW following ‘shutdown’, so’s we are stuck.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  26. I look forward to the campaign commercial of Lo-Le repeatedly taking the Fifth every time some congress critter asks her a question, then cutting to Obama stating there’s not a hint of a “smidgen of corruption” at the heart of the IRS scandal.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  27. Obviously, the only recourse is for politically oriented non-profits is just to go off grid.

    I propose that a donation hereafter be denominated “dead possum”.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  28. 22. Ah, unrequited love, you are one bitter puss.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  29. Well heck, where is the rack when you need one? She’s an arrogant Washington doofus, and while I doubt that they’ll do more than grab her ankles and try to shake some truth out of her, she can damned well get up on the witness stand as it were, and lie, lie, lie again.

    Skeptical Voter (12e67d)

  30. bring her in and interrogate her and make her pay for expensive lawyers.

    Let her file a habeas motion from jail, then.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  31. It’s got to be the whole House, most of those guys are lawyers, most have some knowledge of the Fifth (one way or another ;)), so there likely won’t be a majority to hold that she did waive her Fifth Amendment rights and must now answer or be held in contempt. She will still need a lawyer, though.

    nk (dbc370)

  32. I doubt she will answer any questions, nk, and I figure you think that, too — unless there is some kind of deal in place. I have to think they would do a deal with her because I think she was at the heart of the IRS scandal. On the other hand, if a deal would get her to roll on the White House, then I hope there is a deal.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  33. Typo! I meant to say “I hate to think they would do a deal with her …”

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  34. DRJ,

    Or perhaps she’d to offered use immunity and she still refuses to testify, since she’s been told she won’t have any friends if she does.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  35. Let’s try that again:

    Or perhaps she’s to be offered use immunity and she still refuses to testify, since she’s been told she won’t have any friends if she does.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  36. I’m open to a lot of options but my guess is she thinks she has nothing to fear. The government pays for her lawyer, the White House has her back, she hasn’t broken any laws because the IRS rules are so pathetic, and she sees herself as doing the right thing for the cause she believes in. That’s why I’m afraid she will smugly smile and not answer any questions, but I hope I’m wrong.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  37. I was thinking the same. If she rolls over, she will be burning any chance she has, when this blows over of course, as a lobbyist or influence peddler. On the other hand (there’s always another hand), use immunity can be obtained as a means to compel her testimony but (there’s always a but) doesn’t it have to be applied for by the Attorney General?

    nk (dbc370)

  38. nk,

    You’re always a step ahead of me. This Hanah Volokh article in the Georgetown Law Review says (footnotes omitted):

    For a hearing before a committee or subcommittee of Congress, which is much more common than a full house hearing, the statute requires a two-thirds vote of the full committee membership to grant immunity.

    The immunity order does not issue directly from Congress or a committee, but instead from a United States district court judge. However, the judge has no discretion to deny the immunity grant. The statute requires that the judge “shall issue” an immunity order as long as the procedural requirements are met, and the courts have always treated this as a ministerial task.

    This is another theoretical reason why an independent prosecutor would be a good solution, although I’m sure Obama would appoint a flunky to conduct it. In practice, maybe the Congressional hearing is better.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  39. I dunno, we make a good team I think. I didn’t know, or had forgotten, the two-thirds vote requirement. Not enough Democrats will join the motion for immunity, so that’s that.

    nk (dbc370)

  40. “The legislation, authored by Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.), introduces reforms that directly address the circumstances that led to last year’s scandal. The specter of Lois Lerner looms large in the minds of many Republicans, and the plan mandates the termination of any IRS employee found to have taken official action for political purposes. The 1988 bill that restructured and reformed the IRS spells out ten actions for which the IRS commissioner must terminate an agency employee after an “administrative or judicial determination” that the employee has committed the prohibited action — among them, providing a false statement under oath on a matter involving a taxpayer and violating the rights of a taxpayer. Today’s bill would add the commission of politically motivated acts to the list.

    The plan would also require the IRS to modify its interpretation of a critical provision of the Internal Revenue Code that has been used to protect the privacy of those accused of leaking confidential taxpayer records and to deny information to the victims of IRS abuse.

    Under the proposed reforms, the provision, Internal Revenue Code section 6103, would require the government to disclose to victims both the status of an investigation as well as its result, including the identity of the perpetrator.”‘

    Colonel Haiku (bea7ac)

  41. Camp seems to be a praiseworthy example of a man who also “walks the walk”.

    Colonel Haiku (bea7ac)

  42. He isn’t walking the walk until he sends out subpoenas to the IRS.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  43. All in good time, patience should be extended to more than just our faves.

    Colonel Haiku (bea7ac)

  44. Be nice to see some action taken in the Senate, as well.

    Colonel Haiku (bea7ac)

  45. Colonel Haiku:

    All in good time, patience should be extended to more than just our faves.

    That’s true, but weren’t you the one arguing that Texas Republicans haven’t acted aggressively enough in speaking out against the IRS scandal? And, yet, Chairman Camp has had jurisdiction of the scandal since June 3, 2011 — over 2-1/2 years ago — and he hasn’t issued one subpoena to the IRS. I submit your theory that patience should be extended to more than just our favorites has a corollary, Colonel: Be as impatient with your favorites as you are with those who aren’t your favorites.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  46. My Camp link doesn’t work. Try again: June 3, 2011.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  47. Be nice to see some action taken in the Senate, as well.

    Amen. I’m sure Harry Reid will get right on it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  48. Day #293 of the IRS scandal… June 3, 2011???

    Colonel Haiku (bea7ac)

  49. Just because they’re in the minority, doesn’t they should sit on their hands… just my opinion…

    Colonel Haiku (bea7ac)

  50. Colonel Haiku:

    Day #293 of the IRS scandal… June 3, 2011???

    From Chairman Camp’s website:

    The Ways and Means Committee began investigating acts of potential political discrimination nearly two years ago on June 3, 2011. The investigation was initiated after concerns were raised that individuals were being targeted by the IRS. Most recently, the Committee held the first Congressional hearing related to the IRS scandal, which included testimony by IRS Acting Commissioner Steve Miller and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George.

    Following repeated congressional inquiries, on May 10, 2013, during an appearance at the American Bar Association, a senior IRS official acknowledged that the agency had been targeting conservative-leaning political organizations. On May 14, the Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration (TIGTA) released a report detailing a TIGTA audit of IRS activities and confirmed that, “the IRS used inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status.” The TIGTA audit confirms that targeting of conservative groups began in 2010. The report also confirms that, despite repeated denials to the contrary, IRS officials had knowledge of such activities as early as 2011. During a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee the TIGTA Inspector General testified that U.S. Treasury officials were notified of the audit in 2012.

    The 293 days comes from May 10, 2013, when Lois Lerner confirmed that the conservative groups had been targeted. However, this timeline from Camp’s committee as well as the Chairman’s own statement shows the committee has been investigating this for 2-1/2 years. Camp’s first letter to the IRS was dated June 3, 2011. 2-1/2 years.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  51. Colonel:

    Just because they’re in the minority, doesn’t they should sit on their hands… just my opinion…

    What do you expect Senate Republicans to do? They can write multiple letters to the IRS and make statements to the press, and they have done so. That’s what Camp has done, too, but he actually has the power to do more. It would be nice if he would actually subpoena someone or something.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  52. This is another theoretical reason why an independent prosecutor would be a good solution, although I’m sure Obama would appoint a flunky to conduct it. In practice, maybe the Congressional hearing is better.

    Could not the House attach a special prosecutor rider to some must-pass bill, where the prosecutor is appointed by a judicial panel or some such? It would have been my choice on the debt unlimit bill.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  53. OT But a Scandal!

    Prince Fielder, 25 Hr. 100 RBI signs with the Rangers for $200 Million?

    Talk about misallocated resources. That is sick, sick, sick.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  54. DRJ… I think the Senate Republicans could draft legislation, at least make an effort at going beyond posturing (not meant in a negative ways) and talk. Go on the record and let the other side vote it down or round file it. On the record.

    Colonel Haiku (bea7ac)

  55. There should be a dunking of her from one of the spans of a Potomac River Bridge using about four feet more bungy cord than the drop to the water – tied around her ankles.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  56. Who cares if she testifies? Issa will not prove anything, except that he is a powerless little man.

    mg (31009b)

  57. Breaking news – On Fox News Sunday. Darrel Issa was interviewed.

    Lois Lerner will testify on Wednesday and they are led to believe will not take the 5th amendment. They had discussions with her attorney and convinced him it is in her best interests to testify. They did not offer hjer immunity.

    Since her last testimony in May, they interviwed the people around her, also obtained many e-mails.

    The big question is not what she did, which they know, but why she did it.

    In e-mail she used words like “they” and they want to know who “they” were. They would like to know what kind of pressure she was getting, and from whom.

    It is possible it wass all her idea. She came form the FEC where there is a disclosure culture, and has certain polictical leanings. Whatever happened they need legislation to guard against one person starting something.

    The new rules, which are touted as a reaction to this, date back to that time, and looks like a reaction to the Citizens’ United decision. If they couldn’t gte disclosure through the FEC, maybe they could through the IRS.

    Lois Lerner looks like she was trying, back then, after a while, to make things look non-political, but it was. She was trying to come up with neutral criteria.

    100% of the groups with Tea Party or Patriot in their name were targeted (this would be new applications) but only 30% of those with Progress or Progressive in their name.

    Sammy Finkelman (7072ea)

  58. I read in Monday’s Wall Street Journal that Lois Lerner’s lawyer said that actually, she is not going to testify – he doesn’t know anything about her not taking the 5th amendment tomorrow.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

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