Did you see the news?

A House investigative committee adopted contempt of Congress charges Thursday against former IRS official Lois Lerner for refusing to testify about her role in holding up tax-exempt applications for Tea Party groups.

Lerner, the former IRS director of exempt organizations, has invoked the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to answer questions from the GOP-controlled committee. But the committee ruled she waived her rights by giving an opening statement, answering one question and then refusing to be cross-examined during two days of hearings.

The committee vote to hold Lerner in contempt was along party lines, 21-12. Speaker John Boehner said the House would ratify the action.

“The frustration is, is that the American people have not been told the truth about what happened at the IRS,” Boehner said Thursday. “We’ve been going through all of these hearings, having to hold people in contempt, because they’ve made it impossible to get to the documents. They have not been forthcoming. They owe the American people the truth. … And the administration refuses to tell them the truth.”

If approved by the full House, the contempt citation still would have to be prosecuted by the Justice Department, which is already investigating Lerner and the IRS. The House could also send its sergeant-at-arms to arrest Lerner and bring her to the floor of the House for a trial, but Congress hasn’t used that “inherent contempt” power since 1934.

This is very good news.  However, I can’t help but share the feelings of the editors of National Review Online:

The facts in the case suggest very strongly that Ms. Lerner has earned the contempt of the American people as well as criminal prosecution to the full extent of the law. The question of whether Justice will do justice now rests with the Obama administration, in service to which Ms. Lerner organized and oversaw the repression of nonprofit activists under color of IRS authority. That a not inconsiderable portion of the moral credibility of the United States government now rests in the hands of Eric Holder is not a comforting thought. Mr. Holder holds the title of attorney general, but he is in effect very little more than a political enabler. The president himself denies that there exists a “smidgen” of corruption at the IRS. The evidence says otherwise. What the attorney general will say is anybody’s guess.


About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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