(Washington, DC) - The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which represents 41 organizations in a federal lawsuit challenging the IRS, said today’s decision by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress is “justified” for failing to cooperate with Congressional investigators to provide information regarding her role in the unlawful targeting of conservative and tea party groups.
“The decision to hold Lois Lerner in contempt comes 11 months to the day since she revealed this unlawful scheme with a question she planted at an ABA meeting,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “From the very beginning, she has ignored a Congressional subpoena – refused to answer questions on two occasions by pleading the Fifth Amendment. We believe – as many others do – that she waived her constitutional right to remain silent because she invoked it after she publicly proclaimed her innocence. Lerner has misled the American people and Congress from the very start. Contempt is justified and the appropriate sanction in this case.”
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress. The measure now goes before the full House for consideration.
Today’s action comes just one day after the House Committee on Ways and Means voted to send a letter to the Attorney General saying Lerner should be prosecuted for her actions in the unlawful targeting scheme.
The contempt vote comes as the ACLJ has heard from more than 70,000 people in just several days calling on Congress to hold Lerner in contempt.
The ACLJ federal lawsuit, which also names Lois Lerner as a defendant, is progressing. The ACLJ represents 41 organizations in 22 states. Of the 41 groups, 24 organizations received tax-exempt status after lengthy delays, 11 are still pending, 5 withdrew applications because of frustration with the IRS process, and 1 had their file closed by the IRS after refusing to answer the unconstitutional requests for more information.
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