And the lawyers argue on

23 May

Lois-Lerner-sizedIRS official Lois Lerner may have made a very big mistake.

She shocked the committee room in the opening moments of the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee hearing by delivering an opening statement:

“Because I’m asserting my right not to testify I know people will assume I’ve done something wrong. I have not. One of the basic rights of the Fifth Amendment is to protect innocent individuals and that’s the protection I’m invoking today, thank you.”

Beyond that, she refused to answer the committee’s questions.

That started a debate on the panel over whether she had just voided her Fifth Amendment rights.

And with most of those people being lawyers – no one could agree.

So, Committee Chairman Republican Darrell Issa says he’s going to haul her back for questioning.

His reason?
She “voluntarily talked about a lot of the same things then lawmakers wanted to ask her about” in her opening statement.

“In that situation, when you voluntarily open up the subject they want to inquire in to, and it’s all in the same proceeding, that does result in a court criminal case … that would be a waiver.”

But a Congressional hearing is not a court, so the disagreements go on.

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