House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is bringing Lois Lerner back to testify before Congress on the IRS scandal next week.
Lerner, the key Obama IRS official at the center of the scandal where the administration targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups, infamously pleaded the Fifth Amendment during a May 2013 hearing before Issa’s committee. Shortly thereafter, however, the committee deemed her plea of the Fifth Amendment invalid because she did submit a statement for the record and confirmed a document for the committee’s ranking Democratic member, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD).
In a Tuesday letter to Lerner’s attorney, William Taylor, Issa wrote that Lerner should present herself to testify on March 5 for an Oversight Committee hearing. “Because the committee explicitly rejected her Fifth Amendment privilege claim, I expect her to provide answers when the hearing reconvenes on March 5,” Issa wrote.
Issa argues that Lerner’s testimony is “critical” for his committee to get a full understanding of the facts. “Documents and testimony obtained by the Committee show that she played a significant role in scrutinizing applications for tax exempt status from conservative organizations,” Issa wrote to Lerner’s attorney.
Lerner’s testimony will technically be part of the same hearing from last May, and the same subpoena that brought her there “remains in effect,” he wrote.
Taylor, Lerner’s attorney, told The Hill newspaper he would likely respond to Issa’s new letter and reconvened hearing sometime on Wednesday.