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Holder Yawns After House Holds Lois Lerner In Contempt of Congress


Eric Holder

The House on Wednesday voted to hold former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt for her refusal to answers questions about the agency's conservative-targeting scandal.

As our friend  Sean Lengell of The Washington Examiner noted, Lerner faces up to a year in jail and fines up to $100,000 if found guilty of contempt of Congress, a criminal misdemeanor.

Hill Republicans, such as South Carolina’s reliable conservative Mick Mulvany, were quick to issue statements explaining the importance of the vote:

"I’ve said before -- it is impossible to exaggerate the extent to which the Internal Revenue Service scandal should anger and frighten every one of us. No matter our ideology, moving forward all of us will now wonder if we are being targeted by this supposedly ‘independent’ agency on the basis of our political views. Rather than trusting our government to provide impartial service and equal justice, we are now forced to ask ourselves whether we are getting a fair shake or being singled out as a result of what we believe,” said Mulvany.

“This sort of activity cannot be allowed to stand, or to go unanswered. That’s why I voted along with a majority of my House colleagues to hold Lois Lerner in contempt. Ms. Lerner has an obligation to the American people to divulge exactly what she knew. You don’t get to pick and choose which parts of the Constitution you like. That said, I’m hopeful we will get the whole truth in a timely manner,” concluded the Congressman.

You see, by passing a resolution holding Lerner in contempt Congress can’t automatically send the Capitol Police to arrest Lerner and toss her in jail, despite the overwhelming evidence against her. That would be a bill of attainder that is prohibited by Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 of the Constitution.

As The Examiner’s Sean Lengel pointed out, “the matter now goes to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. A grand jury will review the charges, although it's uncertain if, or how, the Justice Department will respond.”

And that really sums-up the whole problem with pursuing contempt of Congress charges against Lois Lerner.

Holding Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress isn’t a bad idea or unconstitutional as Democrats claim. The problem is that successfully prosecuting Lerner hinges on the action of Attorney General Eric Holder, himself a target of a contempt of Congress resolution.

And that would also be the same Attorney General Eric Holder who has exercised “prosecutorial discretion” in not pursuing immigration charges against thousands of illegal aliens, the New Black Panthers, and a host of other alleged lawbreakers with Democratic or liberal political views.

Today’s Republican “leaders” on Capitol Hill have a long history of passing meaningless bills and resolutions, congratulating themselves and then moving on. If House “leaders” abandon the investigation of the IRS targeting of conservatives now that the House has passed a contempt resolution targeting Lois Lerner, they can add that to the list. 

The House must continue its investigation of Lerner and the IRS targeting of conservatives and press for a special counsel if the public is ever to get to the bottom of what is arguably the Obama administration’s most egregious lawbreaking – the politically driven IRS targeting of conservative organizations and individuals.

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This seems like an extreme view

Do you really believe it's "impossible to exaggerate the extent to which the Internal Revenue Service scandal should anger and frighten every one of us". Doesn't that mean that this is the most important issue possible, and thus it cannot be over emphasized.

Normally, I only expect someone to take such a position on a matter of religious faith. I.E., if someone was violating our religious beliefs in such a way that our eternal soul would be imperiled, there could be no greater risk, or more important issue.

This is the thought process I fear from terrorist extremists, that their cause is more important than anything and everything else, so that any action could be justified in their cause. If they had a weapon to destroy the world or the universe, they would happily use it.

When you say, it's impossible exaggerate how much this should anger and frighten us, do you really mean that nothing is more important than this. Are lives petty concerns next to the importance of issue. Do you feel you are facing eternal damnation?

Maybe it's just an expression you're accustomed to using, but still seems extreme.