Lois Lerner’s Contempt for Congress
Posted on May 8, 2014Originally Published in the WSJ
Perhaps it wasn’t surprising that the six most vulnerable House Democrats voted with Republicans in holding former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, or that 26 vulnerable Democrats voted with Republicans in urging that Attorney General Eric Holder appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS scandal more thoroughly.
IRS misconduct resonates as a political issue, especially in swing districts.
In fact, it’s surprising how many Democrats decided to back Ms. Lerner by voting against the contempt resolution.
Ms. Lerner pretty much showed her contempt for Congress by refusing to answer questions, though she invoked her 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination last year only after proclaiming her innocence in a short statement. Many would agree that you can’t claim that you are innocent and then refuse to answer questions about that claim.
Displaying such contempt for Congress begets a contempt resolution. That should be clear no matter what political party you belong to.
Congressional Democrats who ignore congressional prerogatives by voting with Ms. Lerner set a precedent that may come back to haunt them the next time they want answers from an administration official.