Lois Lerner, one-time head of the IRS’ tax-exempt division, has become the central figure in an ongoing scandal. In an administration with no shortage of controversy, the IRS debacle has possibly been the most contentious of Obama’s presidency.
There is no question that conservative groups received undue scrutiny from Lerner’s department in the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election. Even though she initially declared her innocence in the developing scandal, Lerner has since invoked her Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination as evidence mounted against her.
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Rep. Darrell Issa has devoted much of his time as chairman of the House Oversight Committee to getting the truth out of Lerner in order to find out exactly where the order to target conservative originated. Much to his disappointment, however, Lerner has continually stonewalled the congressional investigation by remaining tight-lipped in the face of direct questioning.
Her actions are now starting to catch up with her. Issa’s committee voted to hold her in contempt of Congress during the same week that the House Ways and Means Committee prepared criminal charges against her. Unfortunately, the ultimate enforcement of the law will fall on Attorney General Eric Holder, who has proven time and again he values partisanship over his duties at the helm of the Justice Department.
Even if Eric Holder refuses to do his duty, however, Congress can actually make the arrest themselves. According to the Washington Examiner:
Among those tools is the House’s “inherent contempt” authority under the Constitution, which was initially exercised in 1795 during the First Congress and on multiple occasions thereafter. Lerner could be held until January 2015 when a new Congress is seated, which could issue another subpoena and throw her in the clink again if she still balks at testifying.
In order to send a clear message that her behavior is intolerable, and is a step towards tyranny, the call to throw Lerner in jail is becoming more popular by the day. Arresting Lerner might be just a small step in clearing out the corruption in D.C.; but it is at least a step in the right direction.
If you agree that it is time for Lerner to face justice for her outrageous obstruction, add your name to this petition.