Contempt Case Against Ex-IRS Official Will Have to Wait

Monday, 10 Mar 2014 08:57 PM

By Cathy Burke

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The House Oversight Committee probably won't have enough time this week to consider contempt charges against retired IRS official Lois Lerner — tamping down a loud call for action after she clammed up about the agency's targeting of tea party groups.

A frustrated California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the committee, told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren last week that he might start the process to consider contempt charges this week.

He's not on schedule to do so, Issa spokesman Frederick Hill told The Hill on Monday. 

"As required by the rules, a business meeting announcement and contempt report will give members at least three business days' notice," he told The Hill.

Because the House will be out of Washington next week, it will be late March before it can take up the matter, The Hill reported.

Lerner's brief appearance was largely overshadowed by the angry confrontation between Issa and Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings as the hearing adjourned. Issa apologized to Cummings the next day.

Lerner first appeared before the committee last May, shortly after she apologized for  improper scrutiny the IRS gave to tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status, The Hill noted. The committee asserts she waived her Fifth Amendment rights by proclaiming her innocence at the May hearing.

The IRS last week said it would hand material over to House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp,, who is also investigating the IRS targeting scandal.


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