Lois Lerner demands immunity for testimony

Lois Lerner
Photo Credit: USA Today

The lawyer for Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner has now said that Lerner will not testify before Congress unless she is granted immunity from prosecution.

Last week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ruled that Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination when she gave an opening statement during a hearing on May 22.

Lerner’s attorney, William Taylor, told Politico Tuesday the “way to resolve all of this” is by giving her immunity if the committee wants to compel her testimony.

Lerner oversaw the tax-exempt unit that is at the heart of the scandal involving the IRS targeting of conservative political groups for additional scrutiny.

Taylor, who obviously doesn’t agree with the committee’s decision that his client waived her Fifth Amendment right, also told Politico he isn’t concerned about possible contempt charges against Lerner.

The Committee warned that if Lerner continues to refuse to testify, she could face criminal contempt charges

Taylor promised to take the issue to federal court and let a judge decide if Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment right with her opening statement.

According to Politico, legal experts are divided on the issue of whether she did or did not waive the privilege.

Frederick Hill, spokesman for the House panel, told Politico the committee was open to discussing “limited” immunity with Lerner’s attorneys.

“The committee is entitled to Ms. Lerner’s full and truthful testimony without further conditions,” Hill’s statement to the paper read. “If, however, Ms. Lerner’s attorney is interested in discussing limited immunity, the committee will listen.”

Read more from Politico.


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