As we watched the House of Representatives IRS hearings this morning we could not believe that the committee allowed Ms Lois Lerner, the Committee's main witness, to make an utterly self serving statement, then assert her Fifth Amendment privilege and leave. In our view, SC Representative Tray Gowdy was absolutely correct in stating that the witness had waived her Fifth Amendment privilege when she made a statement and should therefore be compelled to testify before the Committee.
We cannot understand why Committee Chairman Darrell Issa did not insist on exercising the Committee's full powers to compel Ms Lerner's testimony. We assume that the Committee has subpoena powers and, we assume, also has the power to compel testimony once a witness has waived the Fifth Amendment privilege, as SC Rep. Gowdy asserted that Ms Lerner did today. We assume that the committee has the power to force testimony, through incarceration or whatever and we cannot understand why the Chairman did not immediately insist on testimony from Ms Lerner. Despite what her lawyers advised, our view is that a lawyer's counsel does not supersede the Committee's power to force testimony once a witness has waived her rights.
Today's actions in the instance of Ms Lerner's appearance before the Committee leaves the impression that the House of Representatives is powerless to discover the truth, and that is a very bad impression to leave with the public! It is no wonder that the public holds Congress in such low esteem when we witness hearings that appear to be nothing but a media farce. We would like to see the Committee require Ms Lerner to return, be informed that the Committee considers that she had started to testify and, therefore waived her Fifth Amendment rights and insist that she answer the Committee's questions. If she refuses, she should be incarcerated until she agrees!
We stand with Rep. Gowdy and we applaud his statement concerning Ms Lerner's arrogance toward Congress! We assume her actions are a "message" from the Obama Administration! Will Speaker Boehner and Chairman Issa accept it?