If she “didn’t do anything wrong” as she testified before Congress, why would she need this?
Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner will not testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee unless she’s given immunity from prosecution, her lawyer told POLITICO Tuesday.“They can obtain her testimony tomorrow by doing it the easy way … immunity,” William W. Taylor III said in a phone interview. “That’s the way to resolve all of this.”
The comments reflect the hard-line approach Lerner, the former head of the IRS division that scrutinized conservative groups, and her legal team are taking in defending her role in the agency’s scandal. Taylor, a founding partner of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, is even shrugging off the possibility that the full House might vote to hold Lerner in contempt.“None of this matters,” he said. “I mean, nobody likes to be held in contempt of Congress, of course, but the real question is one that we’re fairly confident about, and I don’t think any district judge in the country would hold that she waived.”
The oversight panel voted along party lines last week that Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights at a May 22 hearing when she boldly declared her innocence in the IRS scandal and said she violated no laws — then invoked her constitutional protections to ward off self-incriminating questions from lawmakers.Republicans immediately argued that Lerner forfeited her Fifth Amendment right by speaking and they should be allowed to question her opening statement. Legal experts disagree about whether she actually did.