Lois Lerner’s on again, off again, on again (?) testimony
Emails show negotiation over Lerner testimony, unclear what she will do tomorrow
The House Oversight committee on Monday released a series of emails between committee staff and an attorney for Lois Lerner after recent confusion about whether or not the former IRS official would testify before the committee this week.
On Sunday, committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told FOX News Sunday that Lerner – through her attorney – had agreed to testify before the panel this Wednesday.
But Lerner’s attorney, William Taylor, later disputed that claim and indicated that Lerner still intended to continue to assert her Fifth Amendment rights.
A spokesman for the committee responded shortly thereafter that Lerner’s attorney had “confirmed in writing that Ms. Lerner is willing to testify and she is now requesting a one-week delay for the public hearing. We have informed Mr. Taylor that Ms. Lerner may make her request for a delay on Wednesday when she appears for the hearing,” as CBS News reported.
On Monday, emails obtained by FOX News shed some additional light on that earlier exchange between Lerner’s attorney and committee staff.
From FOX News:
In the first email obtained by Fox, dated Feb. 27, committee attorney Steve Castor tells Taylor that Issa would be willing to have Lerner testify Monday in a closed deposition and “would consider whether it was still necessary to bring her back on Wednesday,” if she answers the questions thoroughly.
A day later, Taylor tells Castor: “We can probably move forward if the committee agrees that her appearance at a deposition would satisfy any obligation… .” He also tells Castor “for her to take the risk inherent in waiver, she would need assurance she is resolving her issues with the committee.”
On Saturday March 1, Taylor writes to Castor and asks him to give him a call. “We have some change in our thinking,” the brief email reads.
Castor replies to Taylor: “I understand … Ms. Lerner is willing to testify and she is requesting a one week delay. In talking to the chairman, wanted to make sure we had this right.”
Later Saturday afternoon, Taylor replies to Castor, saying only “Yes.”
That was the last email before Issa’s TV appearance from the collection given to Fox.
The GOP-led committee is expecting Lerner to appear on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the Oversight committee said the panel does not typically disclose such correspondence with representatives of private citizens about possible testimony, but it was doing so in the instance of Ms. Lerner “to set the record straight on offers made by her attorney about her willingness to testify and answer questions without any grant of immunity,” according to The Hill.
Late last month, Issa sent a letter to Lerner’s attorney, recalling the former IRS official to testify before the Committee on March 5th, 2014.
In all honesty, I’m still not really sure what all of this means we can expect (or not expect) on Wednesday – I guess we’ll find out on Wednesday.
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Clear as mud….
Meanwhile Obama goes around claiming there is not a ‘smidgen’ of corruption.
You don’t get to take the Fifth and at the same time claim have your boss claim there is nothing wrong.
To be honest, after watching the Zimmerman trial and reading Branca’s comments, I will never answer any questions from the police without a lawyer present and will act on his suggestions only if they are along the lines of “shut the heck up.”
I fault no one for acting in their own interests when it comes legal matters. That said, we have an absolute right to redress grievances, and as an agent of our gov’t she should be held accountable—but not at the expense of Lerner’s own rights. She also has no input as to what our Dear Leader, or any other member of the cabal, says.
Normally I’d say yes.
HOWEVER, there was considerable debate about when she first came to testify and took the fifth.
As I understand it, you are under oath when you testify to Congress. First she made a little speech about how she had done nothing wrong, and THEN she took the Fifth.
The debate being, that if you, under oath, say that you have done nothing wrong, and then take the Fifth, you are either guilty of perjury, or do not have justification to take the Fifth, meaning you CAN be compelled to testify.
I agree your subsequent comment addresses the debate regarding the ability of the committee to compel Lerner to testify. However, that has nothing to do with what Obama says as it relates to whether Lerner can utilize the 5A. The point of your original post was to state Lerner can’t take the 5th if Obama says no crime occurred.
If you had stated Lerner can’t take use 5A because she proclaimed innocence under oath, I would not have replied. Your position is the same as Issa’s, and I ask how valid is his assertion in my post further down the thread.
I’m normally the same way….. except, what Lerner engineered explicitly used the power of the Federal government to cause harm to citizens and taxpayers. When the average person finds themselves in the cross hairs of any government agency, you are guilty until proven innocent and even then, you may have to fight to enforce your innocence. These taxpayers had the lives turned upside and their personal and business reputations questioned. They were even interrogated about their religious beliefs.
What makes this matter even more evil (for lack of a better word) is that the people Lerner targeted had not committed any wrong doing. They were following the law as it is written. That is straight up intimidation and abuse of power.
I agree 110% that if the hearing proves intentional wrongdoing, as I believed occurred, she needs to be held accountable and because of her position the penalties should be more severe. However, our rights encompass all Americans, and are never more important than when they apply to the accused (remember Zimmerman?). What’s the point of having the 5A if the accused can’t use it? SHe may be an agent of the fed gov’t, but she does not sign away her rights when she is thus employed.
She’s gonna show up in order to request that she not have to show up for another week ???
Prediction of dominant words in Lerner’s word cloud if she testifies: Recall, I, Not and Do (you can try to figure out the order)
I haven’t read an opinion from a lawyer regarding Issa’s claim that Lerner waived her 5th Amendment rights when she asserted her innocence under oath. It seems dubious, at least to me, that one waives one’s right to 5A protection by claiming innocence, even under oath. I understand Issa’s contention that she basically testified, and then refused to be questioned on her testimony. However, claiming innocence seems to be a REALLY low bar to dismiss 5A protection. I also wonder where the heck was her lawyer? If such a low standard can be used regarding the 5A, why would the lawyer let her say a word?
do not recall I ??
🙂 it took me a minute to find a word order that did not sound like Yoda LOL
Her lawyers are now claiming that an appearance before the committee will put her life at risk, as she has been receiving death threats.
This is, of course, an attempt to get the media to start the ball rolling on how it just HAS to be TEA Party people making the threats.
“I advised the staff that calling Ms. Lerner knowing that she will assert her rights was not only improper but dangerous. Ms. Lerner has been the subject of numerous threats on her life and safety, and on the life and safety of her family. I left with the staff recent evidence of those threats,” said Taylor in a letter to Issa.
Must be those dangerous Tea Partiers again….. Seems like sitting in front of a bank of TV Cameras in front of a room full of Congress members in the middle of the capital building is a pretty safe perch…… if you’re singing like a parakeet! 😉
Are you sure she thinks it is the TEA party, I haven’t heard. She could be talking about Rahm and Barry—especially Rahm!
I should add that most conservatives want to hear what she has to say, and would not be threatening her, excpet to get her to testify. It is the Worshipers of the Cult of Obama that do not want to hear what she has to say—the threat of destruction of one’s god is a very powerful motivator.
They didn’t specify, but do you have any doubts as to where the blame will be cast by likes of Brian Williams, Matt Lauer, that little Maddow feller and any other number of “journalists” that automatically blame the TEA Party for every shooting?
The Left counts on the Leftists at the MSM to take up the ball without direct orders, just as Obama counted on like-minded Leftists like Lerner to carry out his wishes without a specific document telling them to do so.
Do I have any doubts, yes. Just because they blame the TEA Party every single cotton-pickin’ time, doesn’t necessarily mean they will do it this time, does it? No, so put your misconceptions about the fine job done by the aforementioned journalists behind you. If you need help recovering from your unmerited discrimination, drink lots and lots Kool-Aid. I hear it works wonders If Kool-Aid fails to remedy your unfounded recriminations, I also know of some peculiar tinted glasses.
Who would threaten her for testifying? I don’t quite see the Tea Party in that role.
In a country of over 300 million people, Lerner death threats would be conspicuous only in their absence. I used to receive death threats once a month as the boss on a backwater science website, lol. That’s the internet. Lerner has been all over cable TV news, accused of offenses that piss people off if true. A lot of people can’t or won’t wait for proof, and some of those are goofy-slash-nuts. Some of those communicate death threats. It’s the result of mass communication.
Of course, there could always be a serious threat – were hers reported to the police or FBI? If not, why not? The claim is also consistent with a political disinformation campaign, wherein the liberal media are merely asking the question, “Could these threats come from Tea Party supporters? After all, it is Tea Party nonprofits that Lerner is alleged to have targeted…” It is even possible for both – that there’s a disnfo campaign beginning and there’s an actual serious threat.
But, for death threats against ‘famous’ people in the media, it is the gross number and the seriousness that would indicate true widespread hatred out there. I mean, Mr. Rogers got death threats. Walter Cronkite got death threats. J.R. Ewing got death threats. HOMER SIMPSON gets death threats. Get famous and you get death threats, even if you’re an imaginary character.