Sen. Rand Paul said he supports the House charging former IRS official Lois Lerner with contempt of Congress to put pressure on her to testify.
"You know, contempt is something you can go to jail for," the Kentucky Republican said. "And it doesn't happen often. In fact, I'm not sure if we ever had someone go to prison for a contempt order, but it is something that has a significant penalty. So she will have to decide, is she going to risk going to jail or testify in a truthful manner?"
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The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has lead the investigation into the targeting of tea party and conservative groups seeking non-profit status by the IRS, is scheduled to hold a vote Thursday on whether or not to hold Lerner, who is at the center of that scandal, in contempt of Congress. If she is found in contempt, she could go to jail.
House Speaker John Boehner said Monday
that "somebody at the IRS" should go to jail over the targeting scandal and that "the House will hold her in contempt."
Lerner supervised the unit that was in charge of screening groups seeking non-profit status. She revealed the scandal at a law conference in Chicago in May in response to a question, which turned out was asked by a plant prompted by Lerner.
Lerner was put on administrative leave after the scandal broke, and announced her retirement in September. She now collects a government pension.
Paul added that those who are still collecting paychecks from the government should at the very least have to give up that money
if they choose not to talk to Congress.
"The other thing that this brings up is while you have a right not incriminate yourself in a court of law, do you have the right as a government employee to continue to be paid and not cooperate?," Paul said. "I would think we need to change the rules of how we employe people We're not going to ask you to incriminate yourself for a criminal investigation but if you're not going to cooperate, you should have to give your pay and your pension."
"It's appalling that we're still paying her pension," he added.
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