Lois Lerner Pleads the Fifth in Widening IRS Scandal

By:  Thomas R. Eddlem
05/23/2013
       
Lois Lerner Pleads the Fifth in Widening IRS Scandal

As an IRS official pleads the Fifth in House hearings it is apparent the administration knew about the IRS discrimination against conservative groups.

IRS official Lois Lerner (shown in photo) pled her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination at congressional hearings in the ever-widening IRS scandal May 22, as it became increasingly apparent that senior Obama administration officials knew the IRS was discriminating against conservative and Tea Party groups and did nothing to punish offenders. Other IRS officials testifying May 22 stonewalled congressional investigators by claiming no knowledge of the scandal, even though an internal IRS investigation of the political favoritism was completed back in May of 2012. IRS Inspector General J. Russell George noted in congressional testimony that he had come to the conclusion that “the gross mismanagement was not limited to Cincinnati. It was extended to Washington.”

IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner told congressional investigators May 22, while refusing to answer any questions on her mismanagement of her division of the IRS, “I have not done anything wrong. I have not violated any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations. And I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee,” she asserted.

Even liberal bloggers over at the Washington Post and Talking Points Memo have publicly concluded that “Lois Lerner has to go.” But the Obama administration has yet to demand the resignation of responsible persons in charge of employees who engaged in the discrimination, other than acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller (who retired) and Joseph Grant, who, according to ABC News May 16, “only recently became Commissioner of Tax Exempt Organizations and Government Entities a week ago, will retire on June 3. Before that, Grant was deputy commissioner of the scandal-plagued unit.” Lerner is still on the job as of this writing.

Indeed, it's more than a little unseemly that the Tea Party — a series of groups organized largely to oppose the looming ObamaCare — was stonewalled in their non-profit application by the IRS under President Obama, and then one woman who was supervisor of the IRS division who persecuted the Tea Party — Sarah Hall Ingram — was promoted by being put in charge of ObamaCare. Yet, she gave congressional testimony May 15, 2012 as commissioner of Tax Exempt and Government Entities, which is the division that persecuted conservatives. She has not been disciplined to this day, and the Obama administration has circled the wagons in her defense. 

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Photo of Lois Lerner: AP Images

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