House Turns Up the Heat on Lerner, Pursues Criminal Charges

The House Ways and Means Committee, led by outgoing chairman Dave Camp, will vote this week to ask the Department of Justice to pursue criminal charges against former Internal Revenue Service employee Lois Lerner. 

In an executive session on Wednesday, Camp’s panel will mark up a letter to attorney general Eric Holder that outlines “one or more crimes” it claims Lerner committed, based on evidence the committee uncovered in its investigation, while the agency was inappropriately targeting tea-party groups. The meeting will take place behind closed doors because the letter contains confidential taxpayer information: It details particular groups and individuals that were victimized by the IRS, which is protected under Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code. 

Boehner on Monday told Fox News’s Megyn Kelly that Lerner committed a crime by “misleading the conference” and that from the time the scandal broke, he has felt somebody belonged behind bars. 

“I don’t care who’s going to be fired, I want to know who’s going to jail,” Boehner said he told his colleagues when the scandal surfaced last May. “Somebody at the IRS violated the law.” 

The Ways and Means Committee’s move is not the only one occurring in the House this week that concerns Lerner. The Oversight Committee will vote on Thursday on whether to issue her a contempt citation for obstructing its investigation of the IRS’s targeting. 

Boehner reiterated on Monday that if the Oversight Committee approves the contempt resolution, he will bring it before the full House. 

“The Congress will take up that contempt resolution,” he said. “If she’s not going to tell us the truth, the House will hold her in contempt.”