WASHINGTON – The chairman of the House Oversight Committee has scheduled a contempt vote for next week on a former Internal Revenue Service official at the heart of the agency’s tea party controversy.
Lois Lerner directed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. Last May, after providing an opening statement, she refused to answer questions at a committee hearing about IRS agents improperly singling out tea party applications for extra scrutiny. She again refused to answer questions at hearing last month.
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, a California Republican, said Lerner had effectively waived her Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions by providing an opening statement. Lerner’s lawyer and Democrats on the committee disagree.
The committee is to vote April 10 on whether to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress.