TPM — The official in charge of the exempt organizations division at center of the targeting scandal plaguing the Internal Revenue Service plans to invoke the Fifth Amendment, refusing to testify before a House oversight hearing this week. “She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” an attorney for Lois Lerner told committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) in a letter obtained Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times.
Since she intends not to answer questions, the letter requests Lerner be exempt from the Wednesday hearing because her appearance would “have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her.”
Lerner initially revealed during a Q&A session in Washington that Internal Revenue Service agents employed at the Cincinnati branch office improperly scrutinized conservative non-profit groups for additional reviews from 2010 to 2012. Lerner only recently disclosed that the question was planted, however.
Oh, it will serve a purpose alright. All Republicans will have to do is ask various versions of “Was this entire dirty scandal orchestrated by Kenyan-Muslim usurper Barack Hussein Obama?” over and over. And she’ll answer again and again, “On the advice of my attorney I plead the fifth,” and bazzom! Assuming it’s open to the public, and probably even if it’s not, the usual suspects will have a great soundbite for political attack ads and probably a brouhaha of as yet unknown proportions.
I understand all that, the arc is as predictable as an artillery shell fired on the moon. What I don’t get is why conservatives didn’t go apeshit over this IRS deal when it was first revealed back in October. It has everything they crave, like plants crave Brawndo, Teaparty, IRS and taxes, gubmint tyranny; it seems like election 2012 would have been the best time to roll it out.