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House votes to hold Lois Lerner in contempt

House votes to hold Lois Lerner in contempt

Ball now in Eric Holder’s court — expect delay of game.

Vote just took place, 231-187.

House Vote Holding Lois Lerner in contempt

The House then voted to require Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the targeting of conservative nonprofit groups by the Internal Revenue Service, 250-168, with 26 Democrats voting in favor.

House Vote Special Prosecutor IRS Targeting

The contempt is based on Lerner’s failure to answer questions during hearings on the IRS targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups, even after Lerner gave an opening statement proclaiming her innocence:



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FenelonSpoke | May 7, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Nothing will happen to her because anything else has to go through the Dept of (In)justice, does it not? Fat Chance.

    Ragspierre in reply to FenelonSpoke. | May 7, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Nope. She can be thrown in the Congressional huse-gow.

      Sanddog in reply to Ragspierre. | May 7, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      Which would require a set of balls that Boehner doesn’t possess.

        Ragspierre in reply to Sanddog. | May 8, 2014 at 3:28 am

        I was dealing with the possible.

        Which includes replacing the current Speaker.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Sanddog. | May 9, 2014 at 1:11 am

        Boehner doesn’t have the huevos to swat a fly. What an abominable, atrocious man and Speaker he is.

        Does anyone know if it’s at all possible that he could get primaried or just not re-elected? Any Ohioans or Michael Barone-types around in the know? I’d be willing to lose the seat to a ‘rat if it meant getting rid of Boehner.

      Estragon in reply to Ragspierre. | May 8, 2014 at 12:23 am

      There is a reason that jail hasn’t been used in 75 years.

      Do you suppose that Democrats will NEVER retake the House? Do you really want to set this precedent for the next Pelosi?

        Ragspierre in reply to Estragon. | May 8, 2014 at 3:27 am

        What is you problem?

        There IS a precedent. The FLUCKING THING WAS BUILT. It HAS been used.

        I don’t live in fear. FLUCK Pelosi in her eye-sockets, and be damned if I would worry about doing what was right because I feared what perversity she might commit in the future.

        GOOD GRIEF!

        Ragspierre in reply to Estragon. | May 8, 2014 at 3:30 am

        I DOWN thumbed you…and would have multiplied it a hundred…but it scored as an UP twinkles.

        MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Estragon. | May 8, 2014 at 7:15 am

        Do you think that lack of precedent will stop Nancy Pelosi?

    Aarradin in reply to FenelonSpoke. | May 8, 2014 at 3:35 am

    If they wanted to, the House alone could put her in jail.

    They have other options as well. Doesn’t has to go through the DOJ.

    Here’s a summary:

    If Congress wants to hold someone in contempt for failure to comply with a subpoena, they can do several things:

    (1) Hold congressional contempt proceedings. These are quasi-judicial proceedings, rooted in the constitutional investigatory and legislative power of Congress, in which the members of Congress themselves act as judges, juries, and prosecutors. It is very important to note that this is not a judicial process. The chamber of Congress in question has the power to direct the Sergeant at Arms to arrest someone, bring them before the chamber, and put them in jail, all without seeing the inside of a courtroom.

    See McGrain v. Daugherty, for an example of this upheld by the Supreme Court. The Court held that such powers were “necessary and proper” for Congress to carry out its legislative function.

    This is the “historical” method by which a chamber of Congress has enforced its subpoenas. It was employed some dozen or more times up until 1934 but it was deemed too time consuming because it required the attention of the whole chamber, sometimes for more than a week. In the 1850s an alternative procedure was hotly debated and eventually created. But this method still exists. And this is the source of what is referred to as the “inherent contempt” proceeding.

    For completness’ sake I should mention that individuals imprisoned under this procedure may petition for habeas relief from federal courts. They therefore will have some opportunity (though likely limited) to raise defenses (for example, Fifth Amendment or executive privilege) and challenge the validity of the contempt finding. On the other hand, there is general consensus that this type of imprisonment is not a criminal penalty and therefore is not subject to the presidential pardon power.

    (2) Certify a contempt citation and deliver it to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. This is a multi-step process. First, the committee (or subcommittee) that is seeking the citation must approve it by majority vote. Then, it gets handed up to be read and voted on by the next higher authority (either the full chamber or the committee). Once the full chamber has certified the contempt citation, a report is prepared and presented to the U.S. Attorney. The U.S.A. then has a duty to present the contempt citation and report to a grand jury in order to get an indictment for contempt of Congress. See 2 U.S.C. § 194.

    This is the modern, statutory method that Congress has used to lay contempt charges on reluctant witnesses. This is criminal contempt. A contempt indictment then goes through the normal judicial process, meaning the subjects of the citation will have the opportunity to raise defenses or outright challenge the validity of the contempt citation. Individuals punished by criminal contempt may seek a presidential pardon.

    (3) The Senate has another option. Under a newer law, deemed necessary during President Nixon’s battles with Congress, the Senate can seek a civil contempt order from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Defiance of this order would be contempt of court, rather than contempt of Congress. The district court will examine the validity of the civil contempt citation. Individuals facing a civil contempt order will have the opportunity to challenge it and raise defenses, just like in the criminal contempt proceeding. This civil contempt option is sharply limited. It may not be employed against federal employees acting in their official capacities.

    (4) Finally, either chamber could file suit in civil court for declaratory and injunctive relief after it has issued a subpoena that has been ignored. This is not a contempt proceeding, but it would be one way of enforcing subpoenas if any of the contempt procedures above failed. This is the least tested option, especially when the subpoenas are directed at the Executive Branch, because it raises so many separation of powers questions. Congress would be asking the Judiciary to force action by the Executive. Courts are usually very unhappy about doing that and usually refuse to rule on such cases, citing the political question doctrine. The doctrine provides that some questions are more properly committed to a coequal branch of government, that the court has no standards with which to resolve the dispute, or that it would be imprudent to interfere. This procedure also allows the subpoenaed individuals to present defenses and challenges to the validity of the Congressional subpoena.

    In short, Congress has several options for enforcing subpoenas, but in each case the subpoenaed individual will have the opportunity to raise defenses and challenge Congress’ contempt order. Given recent events, of most interest for us will be claims of executive privilege.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Aarradin. | May 9, 2014 at 1:17 am

      Thank you for taking the time and care to explain that. It was very informative and interesting.

      Now, what can we do about John Boehner (because he will never undertake any of the steps you’ve cited)?

LukeHandCool | May 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm

The Republicans are Insane chasing this phony scandal.

Haven’t we already gone over this a million times?

In the confusion and fog of war, everyone, everyone, everyone thought this was all the result of spontaneous protests over a youtube video which got out of control.

Here’s the blasphemous video if you’ve forgotten:

What difference does it make??

    platypus in reply to LukeHandCool. | May 8, 2014 at 1:49 am

    When you do sarcasm, you really do sarcasm. A bit much, wouldn’t you say?

    P.S. You managed to either (a) fool one commenter or (b) aggravate one troll. (one down thumb)

    fulldroolcup in reply to LukeHandCool. | May 8, 2014 at 1:49 am

    Oh puh-leeeze! It’s not the fog of war —it’s the bogus post facto justification that’s the cover-up. Or do you expect your government to just up and lie to you ? (I know: Boooooosh!)

    As for the blasphemous video, screen saves have shown that it was seen by almost NO ONE when the Benghazi attackes occurred.

    And here’s something else to ponder, sweetie: demostrators don’t show up with RPGs, mortars, well-conceived attack plans and all the other hallmarks of an organized assault.

    You’re a Low Information Voter to the nth!

      LukeHandCool in reply to fulldroolcup. | May 8, 2014 at 3:06 am


      I posted the link. You didn’t watch it. If you watch it, you’ll see I’m right. You’ll be shocked, and you’ll agree with me that that video caused the protests that enraged the perpetrators into committing the crimes we’re talking about in this post.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to LukeHandCool. | May 9, 2014 at 1:22 am

        🙂 Lighten up on the poster. S/he’s not getting it. 🙂

          I don’t get it either, and ain’t sufficiently interested to waste time investigating another stupid YouTube link.

          Is it a dumb joke, or what?

          Well, no matter. Writing ad copy, facetious or otherwise, for the Obama Worship Party is, at best, a waste of bandwidth.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | May 9, 2014 at 4:38 pm

          Tom, you don’t have to watch the video. The big clue in Luke’s post on 5/7 @7:48 is the last sentence, “What difference does it make??”

          It’s a joke. 🙂

Ragspierre | May 7, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Big ol’ snowballs a’rollin’.

Gathering momentum…

Sleeping village snores.

(See, that thar is a Texas haiku. Y’all.)

Well at least it was bi-partisan.

Do we have a list of the six Democrats who actually have some sort of sense of obligation to do the jobs for which they were elected?

what happens if Eric Holder the Corrupt One, refuses to what the House has resolved?

Eric Holder should have been removed from the position of Attorney-General. He is corrupt right down to his toes.

    nomadic100 in reply to Aussie. | May 8, 2014 at 1:06 am

    Holder has already been found in contempt of Congress. Should he fail to handle the Lerner issue properly, he must be impeached.

9thDistrictNeighbor | May 7, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Lois Lerner full roll call:

Eric Holder full roll call:

Lois Lerner is a moron. She was the good soldier for the administration and now she has been set up to take the fall. Even if she doesn’t go to jail she will spend every penny she has on legal bills for high priced D.C. lawyers. In terms of getting a private sector job she’s probably radioactive.

    Estragon in reply to Marco100. | May 8, 2014 at 12:26 am

    So far, what she has probably spent is less than the money she was paid on leave until retiring, when she should have been suspended without pay or just fired.

    And Obama will pardon her before he risks her talking if she knows anything.

    Don’t cry for Lois, she’ll make out just fine. Look at Morel, lied to cover for Hillary, lied to Congress repeatedly, and earned a seven figure “consulting” job with a lobbying firm closely linked to the Clintons.

      platypus in reply to Estragon. | May 8, 2014 at 1:54 am

      If the jugeared jackass pardons her, she will have to testify fully. So it would not benefit the pResident to do so.

      The House can appoint a special prosecutor to represent its interest in federal court. Weaselface can be bypassed because the House has independent standing. It could do the same with Weaselface but only God knows what kind of sh!tstorm that would start.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Marco100. | May 9, 2014 at 1:26 am

    ‘Rats always stick together. Her legal bills will be covered and she will be handsomely rewarded AND she won’t end up in a body bag as long as she keeps her mouth shut.

At this point, the Justice Department will respond to every question on this topic with “We are unable to comment due to the ongoing investigation” and absolutely nothing will be done until January 2017, when she will collect a pardon in a giant wave that will dwarf the Clinton pardons.

According to the Washington Times, the House Committee found that 10% of the Tea Party donors were audited by the IRS.

I don’t see how they could have managed that many without devoting the entire IRS to hunting political enemies.

I don’t see how the country can continue if the people who participated in this are not removed from their posts.

smalltownoklahoman | May 8, 2014 at 6:05 am

Biggest surprise for me on this was that we actually got democrats voting with the republicans to hold Lerner in contempt and to have Holder appoint a special prosecutor on the IRS investigation. Cracks anyone? Maybe (I haven’t checked) these were dems at risk of getting booted out of Congress if they don’t at least try to distance themselves from Obama and his cronies?

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to smalltownoklahoman. | May 9, 2014 at 1:33 am

    If the House ‘pubs had any stones (especially John Boehner), Lerner would be in jail right now. Turning this over to Holder was less than a punt.

    The ‘pubs made their show of it, and now they’ve washed their hands so they can get back to the hard work of getting re-elected. When the U.S. Attorney, via instructions from Holder, fails to act diligently, Boehner & Buddies can throw up their hands and say, “Well, we tried. We can’t control the Justice Department.”

Bruce Hayden | May 8, 2014 at 9:34 am

From Drudge this morning (link to US Attorney to oversee Lerner contempt case appointed by Obama) I thought that Obama and Holder were doing the right thing. But, apparently, all the article was saying was that the next step is for the US Atty from the DC District to decide the next step, and that US Atty was, of course, appointed by Obama. Interesting to me, the CBS article stated that there was no evidence of coordination outside the IRS, ignoring that Lerner had talked to both the FEC and DoJ.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Bruce Hayden. | May 9, 2014 at 1:41 am

    “Interesting to me, the CBS article stated that there was no evidence of coordination outside the IRS, ignoring that Lerner had talked to both the FEC and DoJ.”

    I’m supposing that your statement is rhetorical, but in case it isn’t, you’ve answered your own conundrum: CBS.