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Isn’t It Time To Arrest Lois Lerner?

Lois Lerner Cartoon

The Republican-led House of Representatives has been stymied in several of its most important investigations – the IRS targeting of conservative organizations, the Operation Fast and Furious death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and the massacre of Americans at the US consulate in Benghazi – by the failure of the Obama administration officials to cooperate and produce witnesses and documents.

In the case of Representative Darrell Issa’s investigation of the IRS targeting of conservatives a key witness at the very center of the investigation, former ISR official Lois Lerner, has repeatedly refused to cooperate and claimed her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination after apparently waiving that right by coming before the Oversight Committee and claiming she did nothing wrong.

The response of the House to Obama’s stonewalling, and particularly the evasions of Lerner, a middling bureaucrat with little legal basis for her claims, and no reason what-so-ever to expect deference from Congress has been an especially egregious example of Congressional impotence in the face of Obama’s lawlessness.

Congress has the power to compel the executive branch of government to produce documents and records and to compel the executive to produce witnesses to explain those documents.

Yet Lerner has refused to answer questions after claiming she did nothing wrong in heading up a bureaucratic political hit squad targeting conservative organizations that were educating the public about the facts of Obama administration policies.

Lerner’s latest exploit before Issa’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee is a classic example of Obama stonewalling Congress.

After months of delay – which should have offered plenty of time to organize and prepare a case rebutting Lerner’s claim of Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination – Lerner was back before Issa’s Committee.

Only to pull the same stunt again.

Lerner has played Issa and the American people long enough.

Her very public game of chicken with the Committee in which she and her lawyers repeatedly claim she is willing to testify, but only under an evolving set of conditions which always seem to come down to “she talks, she walks” is the very essence of contempt of Congress.

Yet so far Issa and the Republican majority on the Committee continue to downplay the thought of citing Lois Lerner for contempt and arresting her.

Let’s be clear about what’s at stake here.

Lois Lerner was not some innocent civic minded American walking down the street minding her own business that was ambushed by an oppressive government.

She WAS the oppressive government. 

If Lerner is allowed to get away with this contemptuous evasion of her obligation to explain the legal authority under which she acted and who in the government chain of command authorized those actions then that means the federal executive bureaucracy has been completely untethered to the Constitution and the restraints imposed on the federal government by the law that governs government.

Citing Lois Lerner for contempt of Congress, if she does not testify fully and truthfully about her role in the IRS targeting of conservatives, is a necessary first step in the long process of getting the federal government back inside the strict bounds of the Constitution. 

It is time for the Republican House leadership to get serious and move a resolution citing Lerner for contempt of Congress and arrest her for contempt if she does not testify.

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You expect the Republicans to actually DO something?! After an inexhaustible and obvious stream of scandals, the Republicans have taken no action to confront them and they never will. We essentially have ONE party now, intent on the destruction of our country!