Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Clumsy Political Spinning By The IRS
Lois Lerner, who headed up the exemptions department of the IRS at the time it was extremely busy targeting conservative groups and their applications for tax-exempt status pursuant to 501(c)4 of the tax code, exercised her right not to testify under the Fifth Amendment today before a Congressional hearing. She exercised this right after being sworn under oath and reading an opening statement proclaiming her innocence and claiming she broke no laws and did nothing wrong.
One Congressman, a former federal prosecutor, asserted that by behaving in such a fashion, she waived her right not to testify under the 5th Amendment.
Ms. Lerner is the one who admitted that conservative groups were targeted by the IRS when they applied for tax-exempt status. Her admission occurred while speaking before the American Bar Association a few weeks ago and taking a question from a lawyer in the audience on the subject. Several weeks later, it turns out that question was planted by Ms. Lerner, who was ready with a rehearsed response. Her admission was the start of a series of IRS spins "explaining" their "mistakes."
Would it be fair to ask Ms. Lerner why she didn't plant any questions to certain Congressional panel members today? Probably not.
Just like it wasn't fair for the IRS to target conservative political groups and hold up their applications during the middle of a Presidential election.