Lerner Pleads the Fifth on IRS Targeting Scandal


Lois Lerner, the former head of the IRS tax exempt division, declined to answer questions Wednesday from a House panel seeking to get to the bottom the agency's targeting of the Tea Party and other conservative groups.

Many thought there'd be a congressional grilling, but instead, there was just a lot of stonewalling.

After being sworn in, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. repeatedly asked Lerner about her involvement in the IRS targeting scandal, but Lerner pleaded the Fifth Amendment.

The interview was similar to last May when she appeared before the panel and said she hadn't done anything wrong.

"In February of 2014, President Obama stated that there was not a smidgen of corruption in the IRS targeting. Do you believe there is not a smidgen of corruption in the IRS targeting of conservatives?" asked Issa.

"On the advice of my counsel, I respectfully exercise my fifth amendment right and decline to answer that question," Lerner answered.

Republicans on the committee are considering whether to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress. Her attorney tried to prevent her appearance because he said she and her family have received numerous death threats.

"She knows a lot about this case. We have issued a subpoena," Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said during an interview on Fox News. "We have voted on this; this is not an optional activity. We're not giving her immunity. She's going to come testify in front of Congress."

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