IRS Official Who Targeted Americans for their Political Beliefs Claims Holding Her in Contempt Would be Un-American

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


lerner

Arguably holding in contempt an IRS official who engaged in partisan attacks to shut down political speech would be the most American thing possible, with the exception of a bald eagle with a bazooka whistling Yankee Doodle while blowing away Michael Moore.

The IRS official in question however, and her lawyer, disagree.

Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s attorney said that a vote to hold her in contempt would be “un-American.”

Lerner’s lawyer Bill Taylor wrote in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor that a contempt vote would be “unfair, and indeed, un-American.”

The letter claimed that Lerner did not waive her Fifth Amendment privilege, contrary to determinations made by the House Oversight Committee and U.S. House counsel, and even cited the McCarthy hearings to claim that Oversight did not warn her that she would be held in contempt if she refused to testify at a March 5 hearing.

However, Oversight chairman Rep. Darrell Issa did, in fact, warn Lerner that she would be held in contempt if she refused to answer his questions.

Lerner previously apologized for targeting conservative groups and organizations with unfair and un-American scrutiny and audits, then stonewalled the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into the scandal.

She currently awaits a May contempt vote from the full House of Representatives at her lavish $2.4 million home in Bethesda, Maryland.

It pays to be a liberal hit woman for the administration. It really does.

  • http://www.Dees-Shop.com/ Ban Liberals

    Isn’t it time we taught these people exactly what being unAmerican means?

    Apparently they do not comprehend the meaning of the phrase and make a mockery of our laws, until now with impunity.

    It’s time to lock ‘em up!

    • Drakken

      Time to get a rope.

      • Lexus Ranger

        Let’s overlook the fact that the constitution allows her to take the fifth. If she committed some other crime then gather the evidence and try her. Rope, nope, and that solution truly is anti-American.

        • ahad_ha_amoratsim

          Don’t believe everything that you read at huffpo. The fifth can be waived. Once you waive it, the fifth is not a defense to a contempt charge for refusing to answer a question under oath.

        • DB1954

          Lerner waived the right to assert the 5th Amendment privilege when she said, “I have done nothing wrong.”

    • Lexus Ranger

      By taking the fifth she is actually doing what our laws allow her to do and while I’m not a supporter of her or what she may’ve done, you should be thankful for being able to “take the fifth” because it could protect you at sometime in the future as well.

      • CowboyUp

        I’ll be sure to take the fifth, and not make a statement to the question after doing so.

      • NAHALKIDES

        Remember that Lerner is not a private citizen, but part of the government. While that doesn’t mean she’s stripped of Constitutional rights, it should mean that if she fails to answer the questions of Congress she automatically loses her cushy, overpaid government job. In this case, she retired, so we can’t fire her.

        The fifth amendment privilege may be waived in a variety of ways. We’re not going to settle that legal question here, but you should see how beneficial to America it will be if the Court finds she waived her privilege and holds her in contempt. Either she will receive a small fraction of the punishment her abuse of power deserves or she’ll be forced to testify truthfully as to who above her was involved in the plot.

        Finally, I’m all in favor of trying her on as many charges as possible. It’s going to be difficult, because while she certainly broke agency rules it may not be possible to prove she violated Federal law. We have some hope, however, that her transmission of taxpayer records to her private email account and possibly other destinations will qualify, and it’s also possible a perjury charge can be brought.

        And clearly, if we good guys can ever get control of the government again, serious reform will be necessary and Lerner’s behavior will have to be severely criminalized, with mandatory minimum penalties, to deter future administrations from abusing the IRS this way. Better still would be a tax simplification that renders much of the controversy over tax-exempt status unnecessary.

        • DB1954

          She waived the privilege. If that question goes to a federal court, the court will find that she waived the privilege.

          • NAHALKIDES

            Let’s hope so – then we can maybe get at the truth.

          • DB1954

            Don’t hold your breath. They’ll just move to plan B.

      • DB1954

        She waived and therefore lost her right to invoke the 5th Amendment privilege when she testified that she had “done nothing wrong.”

  • CowboyUp

    I don’t know about GOP congress critters, but I get all broken up when a leftist calls me un-American.

    • nomoretraitors

      They should know all about being un-American as they are the antithesis of everything American

  • The March Hare

    We need to get in a large supply of rails, feathers and tar.

    • truebearing

      Now that is American.

      • Lexus Ranger

        Unfortunately.

        • NAHALKIDES

          We’re not talking about mob violence against innocent citizens here, LR, but about the very healthy tendency to give those who would rule us, who have abused public office, a very hard time. It’s really had to come up with a reason why Lerner and her co-plotters should not be tarred and feathered.

    • DB1954

      No, what we need is rope. A lot of rope.

  • Veracious_one

    aha! they do believe they are above the law!

    • objectivefactsmatter

      It’s apparently “American” to subvert our constitution.

      Huh.

  • DogmaelJones1

    If the House doesn’t vote to hold Lerner in contempt, at least the IRS harpy will know that most Americans hold her in contempt (as well as the IRS). Incidentally, I think it would take more than a bazooka to blow away Michael Moore. I think that might require a Hellfire missile. And a second one just to make sure.

    • Lexus Ranger

      As far as I know “taking the fifth” (not drinking one) is constitutional so I’m not sure how the House could hold her in contempt, at least not on the grounds that she took the fifth.

      • ahad_ha_amoratsim

        It is contempt to refuse to answer a lawful question while under oath at a trial or hearing, unless you have a valid privilege to refuse. One such privilege is that against self-incrimination under the fifth amendment, but like many privileges, it can be waived. If Lerner waived the privilege (and it appears that she did) by her earlier testimony, the privilege no longer existed and is not a defense to a contempt charge.
        You might want to ask for a refund from whatever law school gave you a degree.

      • NAHALKIDES

        She claimed to have done nothing wrong. If that’s the case, then she cannot simultaneously claim that her answers to particular questions could somehow incriminate her. To illustrate this point, let us suppose you are on the witness stand and I ask you if you released confidential taxpayer information. You could take the 5th because that answer (if yes) could possibly incriminate you.

        Now let us suppose you have made a long, self-serving statement:
        “My conduct in this matter has been entirely above board; I have absolutely not broken any laws.”

        I then ask you if you discussed targeting Tea Party groups with anyone else in the IRS. You can’t very plausibly assert any privilege when you have already testified that you didn’t break the law; how could your answer incriminate you if that were the case?

        The judge still might rule in your favor, and ultimately, the court may sustain Lerner’s position – it’s not a sure thing either way. We’ll have to see.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    “Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s attorney said that a vote to hold her in contempt would be “un-American.””

    FIFY: “A vote to hold her in contempt would be counter-revolutionary. Viva Che!”

  • truebearing

    If a leftist says something is “unAmerican” it is as American as apple pie and free speech (which they think should be unavailable to Americans). Whatever the Left says, the opposite is true.

  • truebearing

    Lerner holds the constitution and the rights of Americans in contempt. Americans with a brain hold her in contempt. Why shouldn’t Congress?

    Waterboard her till she’s erupting like Old Faithful.

    • Lexus Ranger

      However, using her fifth amendment rights is very constitutional and I’m not a Lerner supporter.

  • Enzo

    I don’t give a darn what she thinks but just read her crimes may cost her 11 years in federal prison.

  • CaoMoo

    It’s just lying and subterfuge to protect the pres who was likely behind it

  • Habbgun

    Unfortunately for Lois Lerner an Obama nation doesn’t care whether something is UnAmerican. It does deeply care if something offends Islam. So far Islam has no problem with her being cited for contempt so we’re all clear to go ahead with it.

  • nomoretraitors

    I’d love to see this left wing prostitute keeping some big Bertha/Shaniqua warm at night in a federal lock up

  • tagalog

    Let’s re-convene the House Committee on Un-American Activities!

    • NAHALKIDES

      They’d have to spend 24 hours a day monitoring the activities of the Democratic Party.