The IRS story just keeps getting better and better. Hard to make this kind of stuff up. The latest is that Lois Lerner, one of the key players in targeting of conservative political groups has invoked her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination before the House Oversight Committee. She declared at the hearing she did nothing wrong and broke no laws before saying she would not answer any questions. Whoa, What about lying to Congress?
Lerner said, she never misled or lied to Congress. We shall see. I guess there is no there there.
Ms Lerner did not answer questions about how the IRS developed the "be on the lookout" list for conservative or patriotic groups, what she did when she learned about it, and why she failed to tell Congress about it when asked directly more than a few times.
She is definitely within her right to invoke her Fifth Amendment rights. The assertion of this essential privilege is necessary to keep the government at bay. I do not blame her at all, as the slip of a tongue; a misrepresented statement can lead to dire consequences.
However, it does not look good for her and in these situations the questions are always raised. What does she really know? What is she hiding?
I also wonder if she thought of the Constitutional rights of the very groups she impeded and had harassed. She presumably endorsed such conduct, stood idly by and watch in all happened, was totally indifferent or just plain incompetent. Not sure which one applies here. In any event, she clings to her rights while the rights of other were trampled and abused.
The other part of the story for now is the involvement of senior Obama officials. It seems like the story changes all the time. At first it was said White House officials learned the Internal Revenue Service was targeting conservative groups when White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler was notified last month. The President, officials said, did not learn about any of this until a news story came out on May 10. The original story was that Ruemmler was told in general terms about the report and that the information was kept with her. However, it now seems like after Ms Ruemmler was informed that a political lynching had taken place, she told the White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and some others on the senior staff. In addition, there were other discussions between White House and Treasury officials on the matter. Hmmmmm, what is the real story here? Who else knew and did nothing?