House Panel To Consider Holding Ex-IRS Official In Contempt

By: Lisa Desjardins and Deirdre Walsh (CNN)--
By: Lisa Desjardins and Deirdre Walsh (CNN)--
The House Oversight Committee plans to vote next Thursday on whether to hold a former Internal Revenue Service official in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify.

IRS official Lois Lerner is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 22, 2013, before the House Oversight Committee hearing to investigate the extra scrutiny IRS gave to Tea Party and other conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status. Lerner told the committee she did nothing wrong and then invoked her constitutional right to not answer lawmakers' questions. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(CNN) -- The House Oversight Committee plans to vote next Thursday on whether to hold a former Internal Revenue Service official in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the agency's alleged targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, its chairman, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, said.

The official is Lois Lerner, the former IRS director of tax-exempt organizations, Lerner retired last year after being placed on administrative leave by the IRS after she said the IRS applied extra scrutiny to both conservative and liberal political groups seeking tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012.

"Documents and testimony point to Lois Lerner as a senior IRS official responsible for conduct that deprived Americans of their rights to free speech and equal protection under our laws," said Issa. "Americans expect accountability and want Congress to do all it can to gather relevant evidence about what occurred and who was responsible so that this never happens again.

"Ms. Lerner's involvement in wrongdoing and refusal to meet her legal obligations has left the committee with no alternative but to consider a contempt finding."

posted by Greg Palmer


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