Gowdy: Lerner ‘Did a Lot of Talking for Someone Who Wants to Remain Silent’

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

By Melanie Hunter.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) – at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee business meeting on Thursday – said he counted “17 separate factual assertions” Lois Lerner made in her opening statement before invoking the Fifth Amendment when she was subpoenaed to testify last year on the congressional probe of the IRS scandal.

“Mr. Chairman, I counted 17 separate factual assertions by Ms. Lerner – not those three little sentences that my colleagues like to cite – 17 separate factual assertions. That is a lot of talking for somebody who wants to remain silent. That’s a lot of talking,” Gowdy said.

“If you honestly believe that you can make 17 separate factual assertions and still invoke your right to remain silent, then please tell me what waiver is. Please tell me what constitutes waiver if saying 17 separate factual things does not,” Gowdy added.

Thursday’s meeting was convened to consider a resolution to hold Lerner, former IRS director of exempt organizations, in contempt of Congress.

Read more from this story HERE.


Photo Credit: AP / Lauren Victoria Burke

Photo Credit: AP / Lauren Victoria Burke

Republicans Raise ‘Disturbing Concerns’ About Cummings’ Contacts With Lois Lerner’s Office

By Susan Jones.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee says the public “deserves a full and truthful explanation” for the actions of its ranking member, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), whose staff “surreptitiously contacted the IRS” about a conservative group that was seeking tax-exempt status — and was subjected to inappropriate scrutiny.

Cummings never told committee Republicans about his contacts with the IRS concerning the group True the Vote. In fact, he has denied any such contact.

In a letter to Cummings on Wednesday, Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and other committee Republicans said Cummings’ inquiries about True the Vote may have prompted additional IRS scrutiny of the group.

The letter also notes that Cummings’ email communications with the IRS “raise disturbing concerns about your possible motivations for opposing this investigation and your unwillingness to lend your support to efforts to obtain the testimony of former IRS Exempt Organizations Director Lois G. Lerner.”

Committee Republicans also question whether the IRS had “improperly shared protected taxpayer information” with Cummings’ staff.

Read more from this story HERE.