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Thread: Issa looks to call back IRS official who refused to testify, says she voided 5th Amen

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    Issa looks to call back IRS official who refused to testify, says she voided 5th Amen

    Republican Rep. Darrell Issa declared Thursday that the embattled IRS official who refused to testify Wednesday had no right to do so, and is now looking to haul her back before his committee.

    The chairman of the House oversight committee made the call after consulting with attorneys about IRS official Lois Lerner's bizarre appearance before the panel on Wednesday. Lerner, the head of the exempt organizations division which oversaw the controversial targeting of conservative groups, caused confusion Wednesday morning when she pleaded the Fifth and refused to answer questions -- but also delivered an opening statement in which she asserted her innocence.

    Though Issa dismissed her from the hearing room, he questioned at the time whether she had waived her rights by delivering the statement. A spokesman told Fox News on Thursday that Issa had reached a decision.

    "After consulting with counsel, Chairman Issa has concluded that Ms. Lerner's 5th amendment assertion is no longer valid," spokesman Ali Ahmad said. "She remains under subpoena, the Committee is looking at recalling her for testimony."

    Issa, citing the concerns over Lerner's comments, never actually adjourned the hearing -- where other current and former Treasury and IRS officials testified. He only called it into recess. The thinking among Republicans is that they can still call her back to testify.

    Issa told Fox News on Thursday that she can't put the genie "back in the bottle."

    Republicans are accusing Lerner of trying to have it both ways.

    "If you could do it the way she wants to do it, then every defendant would come, say 'I didn't rob the bank, and I'm not going to answer the prosecutor's questions,'" Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., told Fox News. "So we'd all in life like to get out our version without having to answer anyone else's questions. It's just not fair. And I don't think it's legal."

    In her opening statement, Lerner asserted her innocence.

    "I have not done anything wrong," she said. "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 congressional committee."

    Lerner is represented by lawyer William W. Taylor, who is noted for winning a dismissal of all charges against former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a high-profile sexual assault case.

    It's unclear whether Lerner can avoid another round of questioning by the committee.

    Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the top Democrat on the committee who was as tough as any Republican on the IRS witnesses Wednesday, said he thought Lerner was still in her right to refuse to answer questions.

    "I'd like to see (hearings) run like a federal court. Unfortunately, this is not a federal court and she does have a right," Cummings said Wednesday. "And we have to adhere to that."

    A brief assessment by the Cato Institute agreed, saying that unlike in a courtroom, Lerner could in a hearing room "selectively" invoke her Fifth Amendment right.

    Former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, who stayed to testify Wednesday, endured a tough round of questioning for the second day in a row. Lawmakers were visibly frustrated as he struggled to explain why he didn't notify Congress after learning of the practice last year.

    But lawmakers are itching to question Lerner, having aired a string of complaints about her own failure to notify Congress.

    Lerner touched off the public controversy when, at an American Bar Association conference this month, she apologized for the IRS' practice of targeting conservative organizations for additional scrutiny. It was the first time the agency acknowledged the practice.

    She said she hadn't revealed the information sooner, because she was never asked. But just two days before the ABA conference, Lerner was specifically asked about the investigation.

    Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., who had asked her about it, later called her answer evasive.

    "The bottom line is you cannot lie to Congress, and you cannot be evasive, you cannot try to mislead Congress," he said.

    Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.


    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013...#ixzz2U8MPnafq

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    Has there ever been a better case for small government than what is happening with this administration?

    Lets look at the checklist for Tyrannical Government:

    Threatening freedom of the press? Check
    Using Government Agencies to target political opponents and quell opposition? Check
    Passing laws in which government takes over large swaths of the private economy? See Obamacare.. Check.
    Blatantly lying about it? Check.

    The Obama administration has literally proven the TEA Party right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    Has there ever been a better case for small government than what is happening with this administration?

    Lets look at the checklist for Tyrannical Government:

    Threatening freedom of the press? Check
    Using Government Agencies to target political opponents and quell opposition? Check
    Passing laws in which government takes over large swaths of the private economy? See Obamacare.. Check.
    Blatantly lying about it? Check.

    The Obama administration has literally proven the TEA Party right.
    What's the Tea Party?

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    I saw this on the news last night and was flabbergasted. She basically gave an opening statement, declaring her innocence, and then took the 5th.

    Time to bring in a special prosecutor and get to the bottom of this. Give the minions immunity. I don't care or need people to go to jail, I just want the responsible parties outed. Although I do not think this reaches Obama, I think it does reach his Cabinet and that is scary enough.

    And this woman needs to be relieved of her duties.

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    I think it's a touchy situation. By giving an opening statement, she is automatically opened herself to cross examination I would think. However, that is in a court room environment. Congress is not a court room environment. But they treat it that way.

    I don't know if she should be hauled back or not. But what I know is that by taking the 5th, it could lead someone to one conclusion. She's afraid of incriminating herself.

    If she were innocent, she would have no problem being cross examined because she wouldn't have anything to hide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainejet View Post
    I think it's a touchy situation. By giving an opening statement, she is automatically opened herself to cross examination I would think. However, that is in a court room environment. Congress is not a court room environment. But they treat it that way.

    I don't know if she should be hauled back or not. But what I know is that by taking the 5th, it could lead someone to one conclusion. She's afraid of incriminating herself.

    If she were innocent, she would have no problem being cross examined because she wouldn't have anything to hide.
    Are you against the 5th Amendment?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    What's the Tea Party?
    They are a collection of citizens groups dedicated to electing politicians that believe in smaller constitutional government. They think that big government leads to tyranny and suppression of freedoms. Things like freedom of the press and freedom of speech, intimidation of political opponents. You know the stuff that the Obama admin does on a daily basis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    Are you against the 5th Amendment?
    NO. But I am against people making opening statements and then being able to plead the 5th. What part of that do you not understand?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainejet View Post
    NO. But I am against people making opening statements and then being able to plead the 5th. What part of that do you not understand?
    the part about you not liking someone pleading he 5th.

    It can be invoked at any time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    Are you against the 5th Amendment?
    The irony is that the 5th amendment seems to be just about the only amendment this administration is not trampling or trying to subvert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    the part about you not liking someone pleading he 5th.

    It can be invoked at any time.
    Like the article states, you can't have it both ways. That's like a defendent in a murder trial getting the opportunity to speak to the jury and the prosecutor does not get the chance to cross examine the defendent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shakin318 View Post
    The irony is that the 5th amendment seems to be just about the only amendment this administration is not trampling or trying to subvert.
    Yeah, because it suits them to use it right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shakin318 View Post
    The irony is that the 5th amendment seems to be just about the only amendment this administration is not trampling or trying to subvert.
    You and Maine take the same law courses?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainejet View Post
    Yeah, because it suits them to use it right now.
    I would think you would be happy about it.

    Or is the Consitution only for the GOP?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    I would think you would be happy about it.

    Or is the Consitution only for the GOP?
    Lerner may have a real 5th amendment problem with what she has already answered in prior hearings. She can't take the 5th on things she has already answered. She can on things she has yet responded to and as ling as Issa asks those original type of questions Lerner is going to remaining the spotlight.

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    We need a formal doggin opinion here, but I believe you can take the 5th anytime you want.
    However, based on previous comments she should be fired without pay (she has been relieved WITH pay). I'd do that all day long.
    And based on PREVIOUS comments she should be indicted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainejet View Post
    Yeah, because it suits them to use it right now.
    James Rosen excluded, of course.

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