Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner will invoke her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself when she appears before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
In a letter to Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Lernerâ€™s attorney William W. Taylor III cites the Justice Departmentâ€™s criminal investigation into the issue of whether the IRS singled out tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny.
Lerner, who oversaw the IRS nonprofit department, will be the first person involved with the IRS scandal to publicly invoke the Fifth Amendment.
â€œJust when you think things canâ€™t get any stranger around here, they take a twist,â€ Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told POLITICO, adding, â€œthis is a very serious matter.â€
Taylorâ€™s letter requests that Lerner be excused from testifying, but Issa has issued a subpoena to compel her appearance.
â€œRequiring her to appear at the hearing merely to assert her Fifth Amendment privilege would have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her,â€ Taylor wrote.
22 May 2013