Commitee chairman Darrell Issa suggested he is poised to call Lois Lerner back to Capitol Hill in the wake of a House Oversight Commitee vote on Friday that found she waived her Fifth Amendment right not to testify about the IRS’s targeting of tea-party groups. “The Committee remains focused on hearing Ms. Lerner’s full and truthful testimony,” the Republican congressman said in a statement.
Lerner, the former head of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations division, professed innocence before the committee in May before pleading the Fifth, setting off a debate about whether she had waived her rights.
Democratic congressman Gerry Connolly argued against the commitee’s finding, calling it an “egregious abuse of power” and saying it creates a dangerous precedent. Now, he argued ”any chairman — whether a Democrat or a Republican — is free to compel an American invoking their constitutional right against self-incrimination to physically appear before the Committee for no other reason than to be pilloried, delayed, embarrassed, and burdened.”
A source familiar with the Oversight Committee’s proceedings, tells National Review Online that Issa is “dubious” Lerner will testify willingly. The commitee, says the source, ”would hear any offer from Ms. Lerner or her attorney” in order to faciliate her testimony; that could include an offer of limited immunity in exchange for it.
UPDATE: This has been modified since its original posting.