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Yep, she waived Fifth: House vote opens door to recall Lois Lerner

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Lois LernerThe House Oversight and Government Reform Committee ruled Friday that IRS official Lois Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment right when she gave an opening statement to the committee in May.

Lerner, who oversaw the IRS’s tax-exempt division that targeted conservative group’s applications for additional scrutiny, invoked her Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination during a hearing in front of the Oversight Committee on May 22.

At the hearing, Lerner made a statement that included her claim, “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,” the resolution read.

The resolution, approved by the committee Friday, found that:

Whereas, Ms. Lerner’s self-selected, and entirely voluntary, opening statement constituted a waiver of her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination because a witness may not testify voluntarily about a subject and then invoke the privilege against self-incrimination when questioned about the details.

Resolved, That the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform determines that the voluntary statement offered by Ms. Lerner constituted a waiver of her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination as to all questions within the subject matter of the Committee hearing that began on May 22, 2013, including questions relating to (i) Ms. Lerner’s knowledge of any targeting by the Internal Revenue Service of particular groups seeking tax exempt status, and (ii) questions relating to any facts or information that would support or refute her assertions that, in that regard, “she has not done anything wrong,” “not broken any laws,” “not violated any IRS rules or regulations,” and/or “not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.”

There is no word yet if or when Chairman Darrell Issa would call Lerner back to testify.

H/T: Washington Post

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