Well, that didn’t take long. One day after the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sent former IRS Tax Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lerner a letter requiring her appearance before the Committee on March 5th, her attorneys say she won’t testify without being granted immunity. Once again, Republicans are given the perfect opportunity to introduce the Malik Obama scandal to the public.
Via Fox News:
The attorney for Lois Lerner, a central figure in the IRS scandal, signaled Wednesday that his client will not comply with a request to testify on Capitol Hill next week.
Attorney William Taylor said Lerner, who resigned last year as the agency’s tax-exempt organizations chief, will return and testify only if compelled by a federal court or if given immunity for her testimony.
Taylor stated his position in a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He was responding to a letter Tuesday from Issa saying, in part, that Lerner’s testimony remains “critical to the committee’s investigation.”
The committee continues to investigate the IRS’ targeting of Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations trying to get tax-exempt status.
Despite Taylor’s letter, staffers with the committee told Fox News they still expect Lerner to show up on March 5. Unclear is whether she would answer any questions.
That last sentence is in bold because it may provide the Committee with a huge opportunity. All eyes will be on this hearing, even if Lerner says nothing. If one, just one, Congressmen brings up the issue of Lerner’s signature being at the bottom of the 501(c)(3) approval letter for Malik Obama’s Foundation, the matter will be on the public record and the ball will be placed firmly back in Lerner’s court.
As an aside, Lerner’s name is not the only name on Malik’s approval letter. Perhaps the other IRS employee at the time should be questioned.
At that point, the Committee could begin playing hardball. If Lerner wants immunity, it should be conditional, to include her giving up everything she knows about why a man who has been found to have extremely nefarious connections to terrorists was given U.S. taxpayer dollars at her direction. If, as evidence suggests, Malik Obama qualifies as an enemy combatant, Lerner may have provided material support to terrorism during the commission of another crime (illegally backdating the approval by 38 months). Democrats could be in the unenviable position of choosing terrorism over the rule of law.
What is apparently not acknowledged by Lerner’s attorneys is the finding that the reason she is being called back to testify is because the Committee determined that she waived her Fifth amendment right against self-incrimination when she declared her innocence prior to doing so. Here is the now classic video of Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) calling out Lerner after doing so:
Last May, we suggested a list of questions that should be asked of Lerner if granted immunity in exchange for her testimony. In fact, these questions should still be asked of her – even if she refuses to speak – on March 5th. Shortly after the hearing, she’s likely to start singing like a canary.
Not only would such questions put Lerner on defense but Democratic Committee members who’ve been running interference for the Obama administration and the IRS will suddenly be faced with the prospect of running interference for a woman who may have aided and abetted terrorists.
It’s long past time for Congress to go on offense. Multiple members of Congress were sent this information via U.S. certified mail on February 20th – including three members on the Oversight Committee; Gowdy is among them.