California Republican representative Darrell Issa indicated on Sunday that upcoming testimony from Internal Revenue Service commissioner John Koskinen could further incriminate embattled former IRS official Lois Lerner.
“Either Lois Lerner’s attorney is outright not telling the truth . . . or the commissioner was inaccurate in his testimony before Congress,” Issa said on Fox News Sunday. “Now the lawyer, Mr. [William] Taylor, is not under oath. The commissioner is.”
Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, was referring to statements made by Lerner’s legal team that contradicted claims made by Koskinen during recent House testimony. Lerner, former director of the tax agency’s Exempt Organizations Division, was a leader in an IRS campaign to target conservative and tea-party groups for abuse and suppression. Last year she pled her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination before Congress, and she resigned soon afterward. More recently the IRS has claimed that it misplaced a trove of e-mails relating to Lerner’s potentially criminal actions.
Issa noted that Koskinen has asked for a chance to clarify his earlier testimony, adding that the evidence could underscore Lerner’s role in the widening IRS scandal.
“It probably will make us understand that Lois Lerner’s attorney continues to profess her innocence, when we’re long past the question of guilt,” Issa said. “She broke rules, she broke the law, and she continues to hide under the Fifth Amendment, which is her right. But let’s understand: She is in fact a person who’s been referred for criminal prosecution.”