Rep. Gowdy furious Lerner allowed to give opening statement, then refuse to testify

Lois LernerIf you blinked Wednesday morning, you missed IRS director of tax-exempt organizations Lois Lerner testify, sort of, before the House Oversight Committee.

Chairman Darrell Issa knew that Lerner planned to invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to testify, but Lerner was allowed to give an opening statement.

She firmly stated, with somewhat of an angry attitude, that she did nothing wrong and broke no IRS rules or laws.

“I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations. And I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.” Lerner said.

Lerner then proceeded to say that based on the advice of her counsel, she would not answer any of the committee’s questions on her unit’s targeting of political conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

“I know that some people will assume that I have done something wrong,” she said of invoking the Fifth Amendment. “I have not.”

Issa then dismissed Lerner and her lawyers, but not before South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy angrily made an important, and very interesting, legal point.

Gowdy was adamant that Lerner had, in fact, waived her Fifth Amendment right by giving an opening statement. He was livid as he demanded she be forced to answer the committee’s questions. The room full of spectators agreed because they applauded Gowdy when he finished speaking.

Issa pointed out that the committee hearing wasn’t a federal courtroom, and after some discussion, Lerner and her attorneys were dismissed again.

Quite frankly, Issa should have demanded Lerner sit there and invoke the Fifth Amendment after each and every question. He let her off the hook by dismissing her.

Expect Gowdy, who holds a law degree, to have something more to say on this.

Watch a rightfully angry Gowdy speak here via Washington Free Beacon:

Watch Lerner give her opening statement and then invoke her Fifth Amendment right:

Janeen Capizola

"And though she be but little, she is fierce." And fun! This conservative-minded political junkie, mom of three, dancer and one-time NFL cheerleader holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science. [email protected] Twitter: @JaneenBPR


16 thoughts on “Rep. Gowdy furious Lerner allowed to give opening statement, then refuse to testify

  1. morstar150 says:

    Well that's why she's tried to invoke the fifth amendment right against self incrimination, because she is quite aware that her answers would subject her to a criminal prosecution. Unfortunately for her, she may have waive that right when she announce that she "did nothing wrong." Yeah, right!

  2. morstar150 says:

    I disagree with the bad comments about Issa. He allowed her to testify and she may have waived her 5th Amendment rights. However, I have difficulty with some of the comment here, such as Jeff who brilliantly proclaims, "You are an idiot. Go back to law school." I'm not sure what law school Jeff went to but clearly he needed to spend more time refining his legal arguments without using ad hominem attacks.

    We can demand more from our elected officials by voting them out of office. That's how it works. Those who have been harmed but the unconstitutional actions of the IRS are the very people who believe in the power of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The greatest legal system in the world will catch up to the guilty parties but it will be done within the framework of the Constitution and our Bill of Rights. Be patient, this crime will not go unpunished.

    1. morstar150 says:

      I hate auto correct!

  3. morstar150 says:


  4. Special Operator says:

    Nasty arrogant bitch…………….typical of Obama's people!!!!! Hopefully she will end up in prison. Many of these Federal employees are "totally out of control. A lot of the arrogant attitudes of government employees today can be traced to GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING!!!

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