IRS commissioner to testify before Issa, but still no contempt charge for Lois Lerner

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner lives the life of a free private citizen at her more than $2.4 million Bethesda, Maryland property as congressional investigators continue to sit on possible contempt charges. In the meantime, the top House committee probing the IRS scandal will interview an IRS official who was not at the agency at the time of the conservative targeting.

IRS commissioner John Koskinen will appear before California Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Wednesday morning. Koskinen, a former Freddie Mac official, was confirmed as IRS commissioner in December 2013, seven months after the scandal broke.

Koskinen will be the sole witness at the 9:30 AM hearing “Examining the IRS Response to the Targeting Scandal” in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Issa will preside over a full committee.

Lerner, whose husband Michael Miles is a Washington-based partner at the top law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, has retreated from public view since pleading the Fifth Amendment again at a March 5 hearing. Her attorney Bill Taylor said that she will not return to the spotlight or give another interview unless compelled.

As The Daily Caller reported, former Washington-based IRS exempt organizations director Lerner sat for a “Q+A” with DOJ lawyers that was not under oath, but has still refused to answer Issa’s questions about her role in the targeting scandal.

Issa and Oversight member Rep. Jim Jordan recently sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting “All documents and communications referring or relating to the scope, timing, and scheduling of the DOJ’s interview of Lois Lerner” and “All documents and communications between or among the DOJ, or other federal law enforcement agencies, and Lois Lerner or her counsel referring or relating to immunity for Ms. Lerner.”

Jordan told TheDC this month that Oversight is “moving” toward holding Lerner in contempt to compel her to testify. Additionally, Issa sent a sternly-worded letter to Democratic Oversight ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings outlining the reasons why Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights and why Oversight can hold Lerner in contempt.

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