The IRS Conservative Targeting Scandal involved:
The Lawyer representing former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner says that holding Lerner in contempt of Congress would be “un-American.”
The Wall Street Journal reported:
A lawyer representing former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner is requesting a chance to plead her case against a planned House vote to hold her in contempt of Congress.
On Friday, Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a memo to members that the House of Representatives would vote in May to hold Ms. Lerner in contempt of Congress over her refusal to testify before a congressional committee about IRS targeting of conservative groups. Ms. Lerner headed the division that handled the groups’ applications for tax-exempt status, and is at the center of congressional investigations.
Ms. Lerner has twice declined to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, citing her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. GOP lawmakers argue that she waived her privilege by making a statement at the first hearing, professing her innocence of any wrongdoing.
They were further angered when it became known that Ms. Lerner gave a lengthy interview to the Justice Department about the matter. The committee approved a contempt resolution concerning Ms. Lerner earlier this month.
Ms. Lerner’s lawyer, William Taylor III, said on Monday in a letter to GOP leaders that holding Ms. Lerner in contempt of Congress “would not only be unfair and, indeed, un-American, it would be flatly inconsistent with the Fifth Amendment as interpreted by the Supreme Court.”
He cited legal precedents – including some from the McCarthy era, when Congress went after alleged communists – to show that courts have refused to uphold contempt-of-Congress citations against witnesses who decline to testify, citing their Fifth Amendment privilege.
But targeting conservatives is American?