Will Lois Lerner Be Held in Contempt?

Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative reporter and the author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."


Lois-Lerner-House-Hearing-3-5-2014-620x400As the Obama administration’s coverup of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s wrongdoings moves into high gear, Democrats are doing everything they can to direct public attention away from the scandal and tamp down growing calls for the president’s impeachment.

Lerner may soon be compelled to testify or be cited for contempt of Congress. After a hearing concluded Wednesday at which Lerner refused to answer questions, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated that Republicans are growing tired of the former IRS executive’s shenanigans. “At some point, I believe that she has to testify, or she should be held in contempt,” he told reporters.

Democrats are also desperate to use theatrics and sideshows to change the subject from the slow-motion 100-car pile up that is Obamacare. To make matters worse for Democrats, President Obama’s already low public approval ratings are cratering in a new Fox News poll whose results have been echoed in recent media-conducted polls.

Obama’s overall approval/disapproval numbers hit an all-time low of 38 percent to 54 percent. A mere 28 percent of Independents, 39 percent of women, and 38 percent of young voters gave the president a thumbs-up for his performance in office. When respondents were asked, “Do you think the country is better off than it was five years ago, or not?” just 34 percent answered yes, compared to 60 percent responding no.

At a Wednesday hearing of the House Government Reform Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who has been dining out for a half century on his civil rights activism in the Sixties, pulled a well-publicized publicity stunt calculated to make committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) look mean-spirited.

The days when Cummings courageously stood up to oppressive government measures are long gone. Now he leads the charge on behalf of Big Brother and our increasingly out-of-control federal government.

At the hearing, which was a continuation of a hearing started last year, Issa asked witness Lois Lerner a series of questions about IRS targeting of conservative and Tea Party 501c4 nonprofit advocacy groups during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. In what may ultimately turn out to be a tacit admission of wrongdoing, Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination each time, refusing to answer any questions.

Issa soon gave up. The chairman gaveled the proceedings to a close after saying it was clear that Lerner would not testify at the hearing that was convoked specifically for her testimony. In a gimmicky, premeditated act of political theater, Cummings then exploded at Issa, demanding an answer to a procedural query. Issa listened to Cummings but it was clear that the lawmaker was only interested in spewing pro-Obama administration propaganda, accusing Issa of conducting a one-sided investigation — of all things — of the improprieties at the IRS.

Cummings then said he had a question to ask but refused to actually state a question, preferring instead to use the opportunity to engage in grandstanding by making a statement for the media and low-information voters to lap up.

“We’re better than that as a country,” Cummings shouted indignantly during his televised temper tantrum. “We’re better than that as a committee,” he continued. As his microphone was muted, Cummings yelled, “I want to ask a question. What are we hiding? What’s the big deal?”

Of course Issa and House Republicans haven’t been hiding anything. It is the executive branch that has been doing the hiding. President Obama has laughably claimed that there was not even “a smidgen of corruption” in his administration’s handling of the IRS affair but anyone with eyes knows the Obama administration has been stonewalling and intimidating witnesses who know the ugly truth.

To add insult to injury, Democratic lawmakers moved a resolution in the House yesterday that condemned Issa for daring to shut down his hearing without allowing Cummings to make a spectacle of himself for the TV cameras. Amazingly, House GOP leadership refused to bow to Democrats. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) moved to table the resolution and his motion was approved on a vote of 211 to 186.

Among Democratic lawmakers trying to sweep IRS abuses under the rug, Cummings is arguably the worst offender in Congress. He has steadfastly cheered on Obama’s obfuscations and engaged in thug tactics against his political adversaries.

A month ago the indomitable Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote and King Street Patriots in Houston, Texas, accused Cummings of an “abuse of power” and filed a formal complaint against him with the Office of Congressional Ethics.

“Congressman Cummings on three separate occasions sent letters on letterhead from this committee, stating that he had concerns and felt it necessary to open an investigation on True the Vote,” Engelbrecht said during a congressional hearing on IRS misbehavior.

After she sought tax-exempt status from the IRS, “an assortment of federal entities including law enforcement agencies, and Congressman Cummings came knocking at my door,” Engelbrecht said.

Cummings is also one of the worst race-baiters in Congress. In order to facilitate the Democrats’ electoral fraud efforts every election, Cummings and his ilk routinely accuse anyone who supports voter ID laws of racism.

Cummings’s publicity stunt this week is reminiscent of the bogus racism charge that Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) hurled at the Tea Party at the height of the Obamacare debate in Congress. Carson flat out lied, saying that on March 20, 2010, Obamacare opponents in a crowd outside the U.S. Capitol shouted the N-word while Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) walked by. The late Andrew Breitbart put up a $100,000 reward for video and audio evidence that the event happened. No one claimed the reward.

Democrats correctly view Tea Party groups, that is, right-wing populist groups, as an existential threat to the Left. These nonprofits tend to be Republican-leaning organizations and they have been successful so far in derailing, or at least slowing, parts of President Obama’s ongoing transmogrification of America.

Democrats don’t want any conservative nonprofits to enjoy tax-exempt status. Such nonprofits are all working against the Left, standing in the way and preventing America from becoming a leftist utopia. 

Using the IRS to hurt right-of-center groups is fair game, according to left-wingers.

And to his everlasting shame, Elijah Cummings is part of that egregious assault on the American democratic process.

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  • justquitnow

    You’re an insane cultist Vadum. Freedumb!

    • Demetrius Minneapolis

      Looks like Mr.Vadum has a fan. Keep gathering people like this Mathew and you could win the DNC nomination and become President someday.

  • CaoMoo

    If they do hold her in contempt well so was eric Holder. There needs to be some consequences to it.

  • WillielomanIII

    Issa is a complete fraud. He has strung this this out because Boehner does not want a special committee on this or Benghazi…. Any competent committee chairman would have had this women either speaking of in jail 6 months ago. Issa is part of the culture of corruption in DC and he is merely pretending to do an investigation….

    • John Davidson

      At least the guy is trying to accomplish something.

    • Erudite Mavin

      Those with the bogus charge of fraud is a give away that you don’t like your crowd being exposed by Issa .
      You know nothing about how legal affairs work.
      ‘I am retired from the legal field and simple just do this
      a competent chairman knows cannot be done especially with
      the docs redacted or held back to stonewalling, lies along
      with the MSM in the tank for Obama.
      You see want happened yesterday when Issa took care of business
      and bashed by the Democrats and NAACP crowd.
      The frauds are those who pretend to know what is going on while bashing the person who is taking on Obama and Co., Issa

    • NAHALKIDES

      Issa and Republicans do not have the power to put Lerner in jail. She may very well have the legal right to invoke the 5th Amendment, and even if they cited her for contempt, Holder and the DOJ would stop the criminal proceedings against her. Civil contempt is another possibility, as you might be able to convince a Federal judge to jail her for contempt of court. But they might have to grant her immunity to do that, and they probably don’t want to. I don’t either – I want her eventually tried and convicted.

    • Sheik Yerbouti

      Exactly. All we see when people screw up in this administration and get people killed or intentionally marginalized is that virtually nothing happens. The GOP can’t be trusted to go after any of them even when they have the best possible proof of their misdeeds.

      It’s very clear to me that the country club that we call Washington are circling the wagons. And the American people are the Indians they “fear”.

  • WillyWallace

    If Bush used the IRS in the same manner, there would be protests like never seen and they would get their way like always.

    Condi Rice was invited to speak at a graduation and there is now a protest and they will eventually get their way because they will go so far as to threaten her and the university will disinvite her “due to safety concerns.” The university will never investigate who caused this, and the professors who encouraged it therefore, they win. When any conservative speaker, or Jew, speaks, the Left shuts them down before the event starts or during the speech.

    Where are the conservative protests? Too civil? A bunch of nerds? That’s what it’s going to take… take to the streets. What would Obama do then? He’d call out the National Guard to control “the terrorists” while he did nothing to Occupy even after all the damage and crimes they committed.

    Issa should also keep his mouth shut and to stop going on TV announcing his strategy and questions. He should also give up his leadership and put in a professional lawyer and one whose prior job was a prosecutor or defense attorney who knows how to plan attacks and especially, traps.

    There is a massive cover-up like never seen and that’s on many of Obama’s “phony scandals.” In most cases, it’s the Congressional Black Caucus allowing crimes to go unpunished only due the President’s skin color and yet they dare to honor Martin Luther King? Every American knows this and what the CBC is doing is erasing all the gains of MLK and all approved by Obama and Holder.

    • JacksonPearson

      Add another fact of obstruction of justice….:

  • tagalog

    In order for Lois Lerner to be held in contempt of Congress, she first must be ordered to answer the questions put to her and refuse to answer after being so ordered. That hasn’t yet happened, and probably won’t.

    The heads of administrative agencies are not elected. The United States is governed by a government that rules by the consent of the governed, that is, they rule because we elect them to rule. Lois Lerner, as the head of an administrative agency, does not rule by the consent of the governed because she is not elected. We therefore are under no obligation to respect her public stance, and she should be run out of office. She can then claim her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination as a private citizen in an ordinary criminal investigation and take her chances without publicly making a spectacle out of herself, the politicians who deal with her, and the nation.

    • truebearing

      Except that she botched her first attempt at pleading the 5th, thereby opening herself up to charges. She can’t make an exculpatory statement, denying any wrongdoing on her part, then plead the 5th. They need to go after her with everything they’ve got and show America they mean business. Even if they can’t nail her with what she deserves, her jailing will force the media to cover the story and it won’t look good for the cratering commies. Heap it on until we get some of them to start squealing.

      • tagalog

        Except that when it comes to holding her in contempt, she has to have been ordered to answer questions and then refused to testify, which hasn’t happened. She’s refused to answer all right, but no one has called her on it.

        There probably won’t be a lawsuit to determine if her earlier claimed waiver of her Fifth Amendment rights actually occurred, either, so she’s probably not going to be going to jail.

        • truebearing

          I’m sorry to hear that. it seems the Republicans never manage to force the Left into a corner when they have the chance.

  • John Davidson

    There is no sense having a Federal government when it is no longer effectively run.

  • Tradecraft46

    I already do. Issa is just waiting for a proper time to strike. There is no hurry, and the longer it runs the worse the administration looks.

    We also have a war of nerves, the thinking may be that she will break and run, perhaps to Israel.

  • swemson

    Should we prosecute her…..?

    Nah… just a waste of more money….

    Uncle Joe would simply have stood her up against a wall!

    fs

  • Chiron_Venizelos

    Answering this question with a question: Will the Clitnons ever be held accountable for their serial crimes, how about Janet Reno, or Eric Holder, or Sandy Berger?
    The Repubikans and Deficraps have a mutual agreement: “You don’t make things too rough on me for my crookedness and I won’t make things too rough on you, and together we can do an end run around the ‘great unwashed’ and our “useful idiots” to establish a NWO and its Oligarchy.”

  • chuckie2u

    So where are we in getting to the bottom of the current lies given to the Public on Benghazi and the IRS misinformantion. It appears those who are supposed to get to the bottom of all this is part of the problem. As an Attorney once told me the objective of taking 5 years for a case to come to trial is to ensure one of the parties will cave in and go away. Seems the same is occurring with Issa and his comrades.

  • fiddler

    “Cummings then said he had a question
    to ask but refused to actually state a question, preferring instead to
    use the opportunity to engage in grandstanding by making a statement for
    the media and low-information voters to lap up.”

    Ah yes very similar to Brown University. But at least they were “kids”.

  • Chris Behme

    Elijah Cummings is a racist slimeball.

    • truebearing

      Don’t forget moron and errand boy for the Left.

    • bornfreeamerican

      Elijah Cummings is the same guy that walked through the TeaParty with Nancy Pelosi holding the gavel. Cummings was the one that said he was spit upon.

    • Edward

      !

      “Multiculturalism” is a program that is FORCED upon EVERY & ONLY White countries.

      “Multiculturalism” is a program to turn EVERY White country into a non-White country.

      This IS geNOcide. WHITE geNOcide.

      If you are White, and you object to your own geNOcide, you are called a RACIST!

      Well guess what, my people, White people, are catching on very quickly to the following two things:

      1 – Multiculturalism is a code for White geNOcide.

      2 – Anti-racist is a code for anti-White.

    • JacksonPearson

      Add….:

  • seewithyourowneyes

    Leftists hiding behind a woman’s skirts. See also Hillary Clinton getting Susan Rice, a black woman, to tell her lies for her. And don’t forget Susan McDougal, who served 18 months jail time in order to avoid testifying about whether or not Bill Clinton lied in his Whitewater testimony. The Left may not be any good at governing, but they are great at finding fanatical underlings who are willing to fall on their swords. Too bad the right has given up furnishing the swords, and now sits idly by while the underlings get promoted for their collusions.

  • Alisia S

    And, of course, the Congressional Black Caucas is calling the whole thing raaaaaacist and seeking formal punishment for Issa!

    • truebearing

      The first rule of leftist law: Truth is punishable according to the number and magnitude of leftist lies it exposes.

      The Congressional Black Commies would hand down a death sentence to Issa, in a heartbeat, if they had the power.

    • rubber stamp

      I stole your image for my facebook post. Hope u don’t mind.

    • Diogenes

      Identifying as a black caucus is racist.

  • rjm

    Elijah Cummings is allied with the Republican establishment. Vote Tea Party Republicans in the mid term elections to make Washington accountable to the people.

    • Erudite Mavin

      How much did George Soros pay you for that crap.

      • rjm

        It’s called freedom of speech where I think for myself, I don’t allow the government to think for me like Obamites like yourself.

        • Erudite Mavin

          Because you support Obama does not make every one elsean ObamaBOt

          • rjm

            Obama is a socialist who would rather destroy the country from the inside out. And everyone who support him is complicit in his crimes.

        • rubber stamp

          You are allowed to think for yourself, sure. Even if its stupid, moronic, idiotic, uninformed thought process in the empty head of yours. It’s not a question of your freedom. It’s more about your making a joke out of yourself when you talk. Some fools know that their are fools, thus they stay quiet and learn from smart folks. And some fools don’t know they are fools due to their delusional mindset, thus they talk and make everyone aware of their own stupidity of unmeasured proportions. That will be you.

          • rjm

            You are accusing me of what you are clearly guilty of. This is how the radical liberals try to suppress other viewpoints because we don’t completely agree with everything you say, you are an intolerant person and this illustrates it so. Good try politically correcting me, but it won’t work because I have freedom of speech.

          • rubber stamp

            Dude, was this your statement? “Elijah Cummings is allied with the Republican establishment” – That narrative is soooo stupid, it’s beyond me, and not worth my time from here on. Keep at it. Saying I’m a Liberal is the same as confusing an image shown to u that of an Elephant with a Donkey

          • rjm

            You are entitled to your opinions and I have nothing against you. However, I don’t quite understand why leftist liberals check out conservative websites for news. Shouldn’t you be on ABC, CNN, and The New York Times, those media can feed your left-wing bias.

          • rubber stamp

            It’s easy for you to call anyone Liberal if they say u r an idiot. Totally wrong approach. Let me help you, I’m probably as far right on your scale as it can get. but even so, I still think your statement about Cummings is moronic, at best. Kapish? I hope so

          • rjm

            I thought you said you were finished? Anyways just to prove my point that am right, and if you claim to be on the right wing which I think is a false narrative of yourself, you are most likely a RINO(Republican in name only).

          • rubber stamp

            Oh, I see slight improvement in your head. Though Off the mark, but there are positive developments take place in your kettle at the top of your strong neck. Keep your analytical research going. It’s a great brain-massage for u.

          • rjm

            Okay I guess George Soros paid you to write comments on conservative websites, just to be morally superior am not going to say anything further. I don’t need to provide a last say to prove my point. God bless you because God says to bless your enemies. The enemies are those that wish to destroy what makes the US a great and exceptional country.

          • rubber stamp

            Mhaha. Please reset your Cuckoo clock to Moscow’s time zone and go to bed. Don’t forget to clap twice to turn off the lights in your pink-colored bedroom.

          • rjm

            Meh

  • Donald J DaCosta

    “to his everlasting shame”? Is that an emotion these guys are capable of?

  • Anamah

    A new undeniable demonstration of Democrats pack perversion.
    Is the IRS who must answer both Cummings questions: ”What are we hiding? What’s the big deal?”
    We are waiting for Lois Lerner fully confession.

  • Charles Hughes

    If congress votes to hold Lois Lerner in contempt of congress for asserting her 5th amendment rights, does that mean that congress has voted to hold the 5th amendment to the constitution in contempt?

    • tagalog

      Not if the example of the Hollywood Ten is still perceived as ample precedent.

  • Ellman48

    Politicians are always confronted by a fundamental choice: Should I do and say what is best for the country or for myself? I don’t need to tell anyone on this site what the answer is. Unfortunately, for the most part, this question is answered in favor of the self by politicians of both parties, but especially so by Democrats. It is the answer to this question which often provides the only explanation of why politicians ignore their base and grassroots movements who want precisely the opposite of what politicians are offering. For example, why can’t we get a Select Committee to investigate Benghazi? What’s in it for me?, some Republicans will ask. Even if we end up impeaching Obama as a result, how does that help me personally? On the other hand, maybe we can make a deal, like you don’t oppose me in the next election and I don’t support a Select Committee. What’s in it for me? Answer that and the riddle becomes solvable.

  • rubber stamp

    “Not a smidgen of corruption” comment by Obama was a direct and open message to Lerner to shut up going forward, continue pleading the 5th, or else.

  • John van Vliet

    Her appearance before that Committee was delayed for some one told her to wait and to say NOTHING for I feel it would be the impeachment of the corrupt president and Holder……….. Obama want to make sure the process will be stonewalled and the system allows corrupt president to continue…. somehow.

  • SoCalMike

    If the Left in this country had the power, they would round up everyone on the Right and stick us in “Reeducation Camps” in a New York minute.
    Their view of themselves and beliefs is so pure any attempt to oppose it is evidence of evil. Although they are loathe to use the word evil in general when describing real evil however when it comes to the right or the tea party, they use it.

  • KingofStreitHall

    I would have thought Lerner would have been given immunity or been held in contempt already; I suspect they are onto something here with some of the emails they have…which probably point to others they don’t have, and are milking it, and time, to get closer to the mid-terms.

  • pupsncats

    And….drum roll…on to the next non-issue.

    What if Lerner is held in contempt of Congress? Does that mean she simply moves on to a higher paying job in corporate America or becomes another highly paid lobbyist for one of the multitude of leftwing hate groups?

  • Realist

    As utterly contemptible as this libcult harridan may be, I doubt that the establishment GOP – the same GOP that allowed the IRS to target the Tea Party in the first place without as much as a sniffle – will do anything beyond conducting high profile hearings, hearings that amount to nothing more than political theater. The attempt to convince the conservative base that the same establishment GOP apparatchiks that allowed the targeting to occur without interference will get to the bottom of this outrageous and illegal activity and actually DO something of substance is laughable. The establishment GOP sees the Tea Party as a mortal threat to their continued ability to loot and pillage (just like the dimocRATs do) so they will use RINOmedia to portray themselves as heroic champions of the Tea Party, all the while putting as many knives as possible in the back of the Tea Party and all of their candidates. They will also cooperate with the dimocRATs and the lib Lie Stream Media to destroy any and all serious Tea Party challengers to their reliable bought-and-paid-for entrenched congressional operatives like McConjob, Ghramnasty, Alexslander, ad nauseum.

    Be prepared for the next election when the establishment GOP tries to resurrect their old reliable lesser-of-two-evils formulation to try and sell their corrupt political apparatchiks as the “wise choice”. The entrenched big money donors are going to go all out in their campaign of deception and confusion to protect their investments.

  • James Foard

    “slow-motion 100-car pile up that is Obamacare”.
    Classic, I needed a good laugh. “Planes, Trains and Obamacare”

  • nomoretraitors

    “At some point, I believe that she has to testify, or she should be held in contempt”
    So John, when will she be held in contempt?

  • Ax2root

    When enough ” we the people” hold this Administration in contempt then Lois Lerner will be held in contempt……I must say, with going on two green ferns show The President must be number one rated DVR replay in Russia, Iran and China…..maybe those three best buds watch it together on videoconference.