Lois Lerner is not off the hook.
In the latest turn in the battle over whether Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa is considering recalling the embattled director of the Internal Revenue Service’s tax-exempt division to testify on the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny and delays.
The committee subpoenaed Lerner to appear testify before the committee Wednesday, and she did appear, briefly delivering an opening statement before asserting her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and not answer questions, in light of the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into the matter.
Issa, a California Republican, excused her from the hearing when she made clear she would not answer any questions, but at the close of the hearing, he said he had asked counsel to review an objection by South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, that in delivering an opening statement, Lerner had waived her Fifth Amendment right and was required to testify.
Counsel for Oversight apparently came to the same conclusion.
“After consulting with counsel, Chairman Issa has concluded that Ms. Lerner’s 5th amendment assertion is no longer valid. She remains under subpoena, the Committee is looking at recalling her for testimony,” Oversight spokesman Ali Ahmad said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller.
Lerner’s lawyer, William W. Taylor III, did not immediately respond to request for comment. But in an email to TheDC Wednesday evening, he said that Lerner had not waived her privilege to remain silent.