'Un-American' to Hold Lois Lerner in Contempt, Her Attorney Says

Barbara Boland
By Barbara Boland | April 29, 2014 | 1:10 PM EDT

The retired IRS official Lois Lerner, who used to power of the IRS to create "unprecedented roadblocks" for Tea party groups, has had her lawyer send the House a letter stating that it would be "unfair" and "un-American" to hold her in contempt of Congress.

In a letter to Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Cantor (R-Va.) published by the Wall Street Journal, Lois Lerner's attorney asks for "an opportunity to present to the House the reasons why it should not hold Ms. Lerner in contempt" - but this letter comes after Lerner refused to testify twice to that same committee.

"The law is clear that she did not waive her Fifth Amendment privilege by proclaiming her innocence while invoking her constitutional privilege not to answer questions," the letter states.

Lerner met the House Oversight and Government Reform committee last year and gave an opening statement, then claimed her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to answer questions. The committee voted that Lerner had waived her rights by giving an opening statement.

Last month, Lerner was again summoned by the committee - and again she asserted the Fifth Amendment. The committee voted (in a party-line 21-12 vote) on April 10th to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for her refusal to testify.

"Holding Ms. Lerner in contempt would not only be unfair and, indeed, un-American, it would be flatly inconsistent with the Fifth Amendment as interpreted by the Supreme Court," the letter from William Taylor III to House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor argued.

h/t: Newsmax