Rep. Brooks: Fire Federal Workers Who Plead the Fifth

Image: Rep. Brooks: Fire Federal Workers Who Plead the Fifth

Tuesday, 25 Jun 2013 12:37 PM

By Christiana Lilly

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Rep. Mo Brooks has introduced a bill that would fire federal employees who refuse to testify during Congressional hearings.

"We expect ... for those federal employees to testify and if they don't, if they plead the Fifth Amendment, they ought to be terminated," the Alabama Republican told "Fox & Friends" Tuesday.

Lois Lerner, director of the IRS exempt organizations office, pleaded the Fifth Amendment to avoid incriminating herself during a House hearing on the IRS scandal in May.

The Internal Revenue Service is being investigated for allegedly unfairly targeting conservative, tea party, and pro-Israel groups seeking nonprofit status. Some groups have been waiting for years for approval from the service.

Brooks believes that should the bill come up for a vote in the House of Representatives, it will pass.

"Congress has oversight responsibilities. Our job is to figure out what's going on with whoever happens to be in power," Brooks said. "We need the cooperation of federal government employees who often are on the front lines of whatever is going on."

On Monday, Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., said that liberal groups may also have been unfairly targeted, and that the IRS had been conducting these practices as recently as this month, CNN reports. Apparently IRS employees also searched for groups using the word "progressives."

When Republican Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee was asked on "Fox & Friends" about Levin's remarks, Roe said more work needs to be done to get to the bottom of the IRS targeting.

"What we've got to do is peel this onion back and the more you peel it, the more the smell comes out. I don't think we really know yet. We've got to find out what's going on and I honestly believe that heads have got to roll," Roe said.

"Republicans, Democrats, independents should be very worried about an agency that powerful in government looking after your political beliefs. That is very worrisome," said Roe.

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