IRS Honcho Defiant in 9-Minute House Appearance
Lois Lerner says she hasn't done anything wrong, then pleads the 5th
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 22, 2013 1:36 PM CDT
Lois Lerner, head of the IRS unit that decides whether to grant tax-exempt status to groups, listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 22, 2013.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – The IRS official at the center of the storm over the agency's targeting of conservative groups told Congress today that she had done nothing wrong in the episode, and then invoked her constitutional right to refuse to answer lawmakers' questions, as expected. In one of the most electric moments since the IRS controversy erupted nearly two weeks ago, Lois Lerner defended herself during a 9-minute-long appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. "I have done nothing wrong," said 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. After Oversight committee Chairman Darrell Issa asked her to reconsider, Lerner said, "I will not answer any questions or testify about the subject matter of this committee's meeting." She was excused and escorted out nine minutes after she began speaking. Issa and other members of the committee were not pleased with Lerner's decision to not testify. Even before she spoke, Rep. Stephen Lynch warned the witnesses that their refusal to cooperate would result in the eventual appointment of a special prosecutor to examine the case. "There will be hell to pay if that's the route we choose to go down," he said.

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guest2012
May 23, 2013 12:41 PM CDT
CAN'T BLAME BUSH FOR THIS MESS AND YOU CAN'T BLAME ME CUZ I DIDN'T VOTE FOR NOBAMA. If she "didn't do anything wrong" why is she invoking the 5th Amendment. I've always felt that the IRS is corrupt and now it's being confirmed. The USA is going to hell in a handbasket and NObama is leading the way. He's ALWAYS had a hidden agenda and yet the people who voted for this guy are STILL in denial and yet they are going to be the ones screaming the loudest when they FINALLY realize that NObama is NOT the political "savior" that they've been brainwashed to believe that he is. God help us and hopefully the USA can be salvaged in the next presidential election.
MDD
May 23, 2013 11:15 AM CDT
This C should lose her retirement and do jail time.
Fatquah
May 23, 2013 10:24 AM CDT
This will go down as the most corrupt administration in US history.