Ninth District Congressman Doug Collins ( R ) voted last week to bring high-ranking IRS Official Lois Lerner back to Congress to testify again before the House Oversight Committee. On May 22nd, Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner was called to testify before the committee over the IRS scandal, where conservative groups were targeted by the IRS between 2010 and 2012. Lerner was over the office where the scandal occurred. Instead of answering questions from the committee, however, the official brazenly said she had done nothing wrong, that she had not committed any crime and then plead the Fifth Amendment, which protects citizens against self-incrimination.
During the hearing, after Lerner invoked the Fifth, South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy ( R ) said, though, that Lerner should answer the committee’s questions.
“She waived her right to the Fifth Amendment by issuing an opening statement; she ought to stay here and answer our questions,”
he said during the hearing.
The official then defiantly left the proceedings.
Collins issued a press release on Friday, saying he voted to bring Lerner back to the oversight committee to testify on the scandal.
Following reports confirming Lerner’s division illegally targeted conservative groups and individuals for tax-exempt status, Lerner was placed on paid administrative leave.
“Ms. Lerner has had more than enough time to give the American people the answers they deserve,”
Collins said in the press release Friday.
“Unfortunately, she chose to waste valuable time for almost two months throughout the information-gathering period, but now we will finally have the opportunity to learn the truth about how this terrible injustice occurred. My vote today stands true with the commitment I made to uphold the Constitution of the United States and protect the inalienable rights of the people of Georgia’s Ninth District. Ms. Lerner took those liberties for granted, and her actions will not be tolerated by this legislative body. I look forward to hearing to Ms. Lerner’s testimony before the Committee in the upcoming weeks, and setting the record straight to ensure this egregious violation of trust never happens again.”
On Friday, the House Oversight Committee passed a resolution 22-17 finding that Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment right by issuing her opening statement during the initial hearing.