A letter obtained by The Los Angeles Times reveals that Lois Lerner, the IRS official in charge of overseeing requests for tax-exempt status who first broke the news of that division’s targeting of conservative groups, plans to invoke her right against self-incrimination in scheduled testimony before a House committee on Wednesday.
Upon the advice of her attorney, Lerner will refuse to answer the questions of members of Congress when she is called to testify about what she knew regarding the improper and excessive screening of conservative groups by the IRS.
“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” read the letter from Lerner’s attorney to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).
Lerner’s attorney has requested that, since she will be pleading the Fifth Amendment, that she be excused from testimony. Issa has not yet responded to that request.
UPDATE: The National Journal has learned that Issa will compel Lerner to attend Wednesday’s hearing regardless of her intention not to testify.
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