White House Set to Throw Lerner Under the Bus
Lois Lerner, the IRS official who first went public admitting that the IRS had inappropriately targeted tea party and conservative groups, appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday to answer questions about the growing IRS scandal. She read a statement stating that she did "nothing wrong" and then invoked her right to not give self-incriminating testimony.
People who genuinely have not done anything wrong are usually open to answering questions about their behavior. Those who expect a long legal nightmare, regardless of the correctness of their actions, are wise to lawyer-up and remain silent. Although she has an obligation to say what she knows, it is perhaps understandable she is being cautious. The White House looks set to throw her under the bus next.
On Tuesday, Rep. Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee and a key Obama ally, told reporters that Lerner should be fired for her role in the scandal. As head of the IRS's Tax Exempt Division, she was directly in charge of the Cincinnati field office were the targeting took place. Lerner also came under fire, in abstentia, from Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee last Friday.
Wednesday morning, prominent liberal journalists, Josh Marshall and Ezra Klein, both called on Lerner to be fired. Their articles calling for Lerner to be fired were posted within 30 minutes of each other, just as the hearing was getting under way.
Which is interesting considering this tweet yesterday from NPR correspondent Ira Shapiro:
Has the JournoList gang gotten back together? I wish Shapiro would tell us the other names of the "lefty columnists attending the sit-down. Then, we could see how much of a groundswell is building to fire Lerner.
It is obvious that the two resignations received so far in the aftermath of the revelations will not quell the storm over the IRS scandal. The left's hope is that by focusing so specifically on one person, her imminent departure will help contain the scandal. I don't think that will succeed.
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