Is Lois Lerner looking to make a deal?
Word has it that key IRS scandal figure Lois Lerner is interested in making an immunity deal with House Oversight – which is interesting, because with her retirement loot in hand, a bright future of being taken care of by Obama-friendly big-bucks organizations ahead, and the good old Fifth Amendment to hunker down behind, she would not seem to have much to worry about.
Nevertheless, the Daily Caller reports that Lerner “is negotiating through her lawyers with Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about possibly gaining immunity to testify again in the committee’s investigative hearings.” It looks like Lerner will almost certainly be called back before the Committee, and they’re playing ball with her in an effort to make it a cordial, productive appearance:
“The Chairman did not adjourn the hearing, he recessed it. Ms. Lerner remains under subpoena. The Committee has not made any offer of immunity to Ms. Lerner. The Committee has, however, indicated a willingness to listen to any offers from her attorney about what she would testify to if it was offered,” Oversight Committee adviser Ali Ahmad told The Daily Caller.
“I don’t have any update for you on timing,” Ahmad said in regard to when Lerner will be called back before the committee.
Lerner might be nervous about the continuing discovery of documentation that ruins the “out-of-control low-level employees” and “overzealous IRS gives everybody a hard time” narratives. Little doubt remains that the conservative, Tea Party, and pro-life groups hassled by the IRS were targeted for their politics, an outrage that should have Americans of all political persuasions howling for heads to roll. The current narrative pushed by IRS apologists is that agents and mangers spontaneously decided to go after the Tea Party because they read biased media coverage against them. (Which doesn’t really explain why they suddenly decided to crack down on pro-life groups, which have been smeared in the media since the Roe v. Wade days.) This narrative is just a few spicy email archives away from crumbling, too.
The notion of allowing Lois Lerner to ride off into a cushy retirement is not sitting well with those IRS targets. “I”m disgusted,” Larry Nordvig of the Richmond Tea Party told Greta van Susteren on Fox News. “Originally when this whole thing started back in May I had a vision of Lois Lerner in an orange jumpsuit making license plates in some federal prison. Now I’m kind of picturing her on a Caribbean island with a drink in her hand with an umbrella in it living off of my tax money, your tax money, the American people’s tax money. This is just crazy.”
Even though Lerner’s defense rests on the assertion that she was incompetent – the Washington Times recalls that the internal agency review gave her a pass on political bias, but “found that she had mismanaged her department and was ‘neglectful of duties’” – she’s skating away with a six-figure pension. “Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay a generous pension to those who, however long-serving, are sacked for incompetence or shady – or at least shoddy – official behavior,” asserts the Times.
But that’s what Big Government is all about. Endless power, limitless money, zero accountability. No one ever suffers consequences in the Obama Administration. There are still people who want to give then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton credit for “taking responsibility” for Benghazi, when all she did was mouth the words “I take responsibility.” No agency of the government suffers very much for either malevolence or ineptitude. Failed programs grind on forever. The bureaucracy is an untouchable safe haven for aristocracy. And since none of them are terribly worried about the consequences of failure or misbehavior, who expects anything to get better?
The IRS is doing a little post-scandal cleanup work, comically deciding to grant a few long-sought tax exemptions to groups like True the Vote… now that the election is safely over. “We are pleased and relieved that the IRS and the DOJ are finally doing what should have been done three years ago, which is to recognize TTV as a charitable and educational organization, which we always have been and always will be,” True the Vote president Catherine Engelbrecht said, adding that her lawsuit against the IRS would continue until questions about Internal Revenue’s conduct have been answered.
“If the IRS is right in its arguments that the IRS can violate the citizens’ constitutional rights and there is no ‘check’ on its power to do so, then the American people need to know that. I cannot believe, as an American citizen, that the IRS is above the law and I refuse to accept that a citizen has no remedy against the IRS for the kinds of things it has done to our group these past three years. This case is just getting started,” said Engelbrecht.
At the very least, responsible individuals should be named and punished. Perhaps those individuals will be motivated to explain they were just following orders, and talk about where those orders came from.