Rep. Steve Stockman Plans Motion to Arrest Lois Lerner

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 03:47 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Rep. Steve Stockman says he plans to bring a House vote calling for the arrest of scandal-plagued former IRS official Lois Lerner before the summer recess on Capitol Hill.

"She's already in contempt of Congress. If we don't act in any order of contempt, then it becomes meaningless,'' Stockman, a Texas Republican, said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"If you come before a judge and he says you are held in contempt and then he says, oh, by the way, just go home, then getting honest answers before a jury or before Congress becomes relatively hard to do.''

Lerner, who led the division that approves non-profit groups' requests for tax-exempt status, has been accused of orchestrating the targeting of conservative groups.

After resigning, she was held in contempt of Congress after first declaring her innocence, then refusing to answer questions.

Stockman said that if the vote is passed by the GOP-controlled House, Lerner will likely be locked up.

"It's a privileged motion. [House Speaker John] Boehner or [President Barack] Obama cannot interfere with it and the Senate and [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid cannot interfere with it,'' Stockman said.

"It would be a simple majority, as I understand it, on the House floor, and then what happens is an arrest warrant is issued and then she would serve time.''

Lerner could avoid incarceration if she decides to cooperate with the House, he added.

"She's cooperating supposedly with the Justice Department, but not with the House committees, which I find interesting, but if she agreed to cooperate, then of course she would not be in jail,'' Stockman said.

"But if we did arrest her, she'd be in jail until the end of the year, and then the new Congress would have to issue a new arrest warrant.''

Stockman said he thinks the House will pass a resolution to jail Lerner.

"I would challenge any Democrat or Republican to defend Lois Lerner's actions, and if you don't vote to uphold a contempt charge and make her accountable, then my question is, are you advocating the behavior of which she has displayed?'' he said.

"She's been insolent, she's in no way compliant . . . This is someone who has total disrespect for Congress, and we've got to remember, she supposedly is supposed to be working for the people, and yet she's demonstrating she's not working for the people, she's working for the White House.''

Stockman, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he thinks Obama is hoping Republicans will try to impeach him for his controversial use of executive power.

"He wants to be impeached because he feels that's only going to help him, so he's going to go out and do everything possible to increase the anger,'' Stockman said.

"He has done impeachable offensives, but that being said . . . the president's begging to be impeached so he can raise money and recruit volunteers.

"Obama has survived throughout his life by being the victim, and as you look at his campaigns, his rhetoric, it's always he's a victim.''

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