On Wednesday’s broadcast of “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) explained why he favored the House pursuing a contempt of Congress charge against embattled former IRS official Lois Lerner, who is a the center the controversy surrounding the that agency’s abuse of power in granting some conservative groups certain tax statuses.
Primarily Paul said it was to encourage Lerner to cooperate with Congress in its investigation.
“The other thing that this brings up is while you have a right not to incriminate yourself in a court of law, do you have the right as a government employee to continue to be paid and not cooperate? I would think we need to change the rules of how we employ people. We’re not going to ask you to incriminate yourself for a criminal investigation but if you’re not going to cooperate, you should have to give up your pay and your pension.”
But he also argued it would prevent her from receiving retirement benefits from the federal government should she convicted of the contempt violation.
“You know, contempt is something you can go to jail for,” Paul said. “And it doesn’t happen often. In fact, I’m not sure if we ever had someone go to prison for a contempt order, but it is something that has a significant penalty. So she will have to decide, is she going to risk going to jail or testify in a truthful manner? And — but I really think that one of the reasons to pursue this is a contempt violation and a conviction would then I think abrogate her pension and i don’t think we should continue to pay her if she doesn’t cooperate.”
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