Former IRS official Lois Lerner has been held in contempt of Congress, but the House won't be ordering her arrest, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, insisted Sunday.
"I'm not sure we want to go down that path," Boehner told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo on her "Sunday Morning Futures" show.
"There is a provision in the Constitution that has never been used. I'm not quite sure that we want to go down that path," Boehner said.
"So you're not looking to do that?" Bartiromo asked.
"No, it's never been used," Boehner replied.
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"I'm not the historian here. It's never been used, and I'm not sure that it's an appropriate way to go about this," Boehner said. "It is up to [Attorney General] Eric Holder to do his job."
Under federal law, each chamber of Congress has the legal ability to authorize its sergeant-at-arms to detain people who it finds in contempt, reports The Hill. Last week, the House agreed by a 231-187 vote to hold Lerner, who retired last year, of contempt because she refused to testify in her role in IRS targeting of conservative groups.
"Now will he (Holder) do it?" added Boehner. "We don’t know, but the ball is in his court."
Lerner has insisted on invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination rather than agreeing to testify before the House. However, House members say she waived her rights when she defended herself during a hearing just before she refused to answer lawmakers' questions.
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