Posted by Abrams Hap
May 23, 2013
Earlier this month Opsec News reported on the IRS targeting of conservative groups which had been discovered on May 10, 2013.
The unconstitutional criteria used by IRS officials to flag the applications of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status were thus:
- Whether the issues outlined in the application included government spending, government debt or taxes.
- Whether there was advocating or lobbying to “make America a better place to live.”
- Whether a statement in the case file criticized how the country is being run.
- Whether it advocated education about the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Further investigation into the unconstitutional bravado of the IRS has led to hearings before the House Oversight and the Government Reform Committee. The investigation has led up the ladder of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division. Mainly, the Director of the Exempt Organizations Division.
A short video from the hearing regarding this commentary is shown below.
On May 22, 2013, Lois Lerner, the Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division refused to testify before the House Oversight and the Government Reform Committee, pleading the 5th Amendment. In doing so, Lerner avoided having to testify about her involvement regarding the thousands of Americans whose Constitutional rights were violated by the strong-arm tactics of the IRS.
Prior to refusing to testify, Lerner gave a prepared statement before the committee stating, “I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations and have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee. While I would very much like to answer the committee’s questions today, I’ve been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify or answer questions related to the subject matter of this hearing. After very careful consideration, I’ve decided to follow my counsel’s advice and not testify or answer any of the questions today. Because I’m asserting my right not to testify, I know some people will assume I’ve done something wrong. I have not. One of the basic functions of the Fifth Amendment is to protect innocent individuals and that is the protection I’m invoking today. Thank you.”
After Chairman Rep. Darrell E. Issa (CA-49) expressed regret over her decision to plead the Fifth, he asked her to at least verify for the committee that previous on-the-record statements were indeed hers. After she had done so, Issa asked once more if she would answer the committee’s questions — a suggestion which her counsel, once again, advised against.
As Issa went to dismiss the IRS official, Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-4) protested, telling the committee:
“She just testified or waived her Fifth Amendment right to privilege. You don’t get to tell your side of the story and not be subjected to cross-examination. That’s not the way it works. She waived her right by issuing an opening state and ought to stand here and answer our questions.”
His remarks were met with applause from some in the crowd, but nevertheless, Issa dismissed Lerner after she refused to answer any questions twice more.
After Lerner’s leaving, Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-04) states, “The irony is inescapable. Ms. Lerner gets to exercise her Constitutional rights, but she wont stay here and answer questions about the Constitutional rights of thousands of Americans who were denied by their actions. That’s whats so inescapable”
This leads to the question. Can a person plead the Fifth Amendment to the IRS? You could, but see what will happen to you.