The Latest News: A report published by the House Oversight Committee claims that former IRS official Lois Lerner misled Congress regarding her role in dealing with Tea Party groups. Lerner has twice refused to testify before the committee.
Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has apologized to Rep. Elijah Cummings (R-Md.) for his conduct during a Wednesday hearing on alleged IRS abuses. Issa, who had said the hearing was over, cut off Cummings' microphone as he made a statement.
A hearing over the IRS' apparent targeting of Tea Party groups was adjourned after Lois Lerner, the official who was in charge of the division accused of singling out Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny, plead the fifth. This is the second time Lerner has plead the fifth. She did make a brief statement last time insisting she did nothing wrong, something Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee, claims waived her right to plead the fifth.
Last year, Mike Riggs explained why Lerner would likely not lose her job. She eventually retired instead. In the aftermath, one Republican Congressman proposed legislation that would require automatic dismissal for federal employees who refuse to testify to Congress. It went nowhere. A Democrat, meanwhile, suggested a special prosecutor. That went nowhere, too. In the wake of the scandal, the IRS got a new chief, who says he wants the investigation into targeting of Tea Party groups to end soon. The FBI only contacted Tea Party groups about the targeting in January.
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