Fox News -- Before Lois Lerner, director of the IRS division that singled out conservative groups was dismissed from the hearing by committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) objected, saying since Lerner testified by making an opening statement, she would have to stay and answer the lawmakers' questions.
"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. She waived her right to Fifth Amendment privilege by issuing an opening statement. She ought to stand here and answer our questions," said Gowdy to some applause in the crowd.
of the Work I Have Done in Government"
Anything Wrong. I Have Not Broken Any Laws"
Goes Off on IRS Official Lois Lerner
Blog author's comments - I am disappointed in Darrell Issa. She should have been made to sit there and to respond, in one way or another, to a series of questions. It seems absurd that she should be able to say what she wants, then invoke the 5th Amendment to avoid answering any questions after she made her statement. I don't expect that any actual blame for the IRS scandal will be placed on Lois Lerner or that she will suffer any consequences. She has already shielded herself by saying it was the fault of low-level employees. But, I do not believe they acted on their own.
Earlier this month (as Reported by USA Today on May 10, 2013) the Internal Revenue Service apologized for subjecting Tea Party groups to additional scrutiny during the 2012 election, but denied any political motive. Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS unit that oversees tax-exempt groups, said organizations that included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status were singled out for additional reviews.[...]
Lerner said the practice, initiated by low-level workers [...} was wrong. "It was an error in judgment, and it was not appropriate, but that's what they did," Lerner told reporters. She declined to talk about how many employees were involved and whether there would be disciplinary action. "I think they were insensitive, or less sensitive than they should have been."[...]
Lerner said she had never discussed the issue with Treasury or White House officials and could not say whether they knew of the problems before her apology. She said her focus had been on fixing the problem.
Her Fifth Amendment Rights When She Made Her Opening Statement
And Will be Hauled Back to Appear Before His Panel Again