Yesterday’s testimony by Lois Lerner was the latest example of the classic Obama Administration ploy of trying to be on both sides of the issue. But thanks to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) it was exposed (Link has video as well):
Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina tapped into his previous career as a federal prosecutor Wednesday in challenging an Internal Revenue Service official's refusal to answer questions about her office's targeting of conservative organizations for special scrutiny.
The drama began when Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS office that oversees tax-exempt organizations, said she had done nothing wrong but then refused to testify about her office's treatment of conservative groups that had applied for tax-exempt status.
"I have not broken any laws," Lerner said during the hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where Gowdy is a member. "I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations and not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee."
Gowdy’s responsewas right on point.
“She just testified. She just waived her Fifth Amendment right to privilege,” Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., a former federal prosecutor, said. “You don’t get to tell your side of the story and then not be subjected to cross-examination. That’s not the way it works.”
The RNC is also trying to get to the bottom of what is going on by FOIAing the IRS.
As each day passes, Americans find ourselves with more questions about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups and donors—and what the White House and Treasury Department knew and when,”said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “Because the administration refuses to be forthright with the American people, I instructed the RNC counsel’s office to file a FOIA request with the IRS to make the facts available for the public.
The DNC attacked predictably attacked this as partisan, problem is liberal Democrat Rep. Steve Lynch (D-MA) agreed (also see video) and even went so far as saying a special prosecutor may be necessary (see video at 4 minute mark) :
His opening statement also served to undercut the notion that these hearings are all “GOP overreach.” After all, while Brad Woodhouse of the DNC was tweeting this nonsense, Lynch was telling the IRS there’d be “hell to pay” if they didn’t stop acting like tinpot dictators.
The Obama Administration cannot have it both ways. The country has a right to answers and trying to call it politics or dismiss it will not work.