Politics
Director of Exempt Organizations for the Internal Revenue Service Lois Lerner (L) is shielded by U.S. Capitol police officers as she boards an elevator after being excused from a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on targeting of political groups seeking tax-exempt status from by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 22, 2013. Lerner was excused after giving an opening statement and then asserting her Fifth Amendment right not to testify further. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTXZWOJ Director of Exempt Organizations for the Internal Revenue Service Lois Lerner (L) is shielded by U.S. Capitol police officers as she boards an elevator after being excused from a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on targeting of political groups seeking tax-exempt status from by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 22, 2013. Lerner was excused after giving an opening statement and then asserting her Fifth Amendment right not to testify further. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTXZWOJ  

Lois Lerner fears for her life if she testifies at Wednesday’s oversight hearing

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Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

Lois Lerner fears for her life if she testifies openly before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday, according to her attorney.

House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa announced Sunday that Lerner will testify at Wednesday’s hearing, but Lerner’s attorney Bill Taylor said that Lerner will seek to continue invoking her Fifth Amendment rights and will also seek a one-week delay of her testimony.

Oversight members are reportedly open to granting Lerner a one-week delay if she petitions for one in person at Wednesday’s hearing. The delay would allow Lerner’s lawyers to continue negotiating for immunity, which they have been doing since at least September.

“I advised the staff that calling Ms. Lerner knowing that she will assert her rights was not only improper but dangerous. Ms. Lerner has been the subject of numerous threats on her life and safety, and on the life and safety of her family. I left with the staff recent evidence of those threats,” said Taylor in a letter to Issa.

But Oversight previously determined that Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights when she made a statement attesting to her innocence at a May 2013 hearing.

Republican Reps. Jim Jordan and Jason Chaffetz, both Oversight members, said recently that they were considering holding Lerner in contempt of Congress if she does not testify.

Issa said on the subject, ”We want her to come back and answer questions. We’ll see on contempt.”

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