During this morning’s Oversight and Government Reform Full Committee Business meeting, Chairman Issa announced that, in fact, the Committee voted 22-17 on the Resolution that Lois Lerner, IRS’ Director of Exempt Organizations since 2006, waived her right to Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination.
During their full Committee Business Meeting, this Resolution was considered and adopted along party lines:
Whereas, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is investigating the Internal Revenue Service’s use of inappropriate criteria, and politicization of the process, to approve organizations for tax exempt status, and has authority to investigate such matters under House Rules X and XI.
Whereas, on May 22, 2013, Lois Lerner appeared at a hearing before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform pursuant to a lawfully issued subpoena.
Whereas, Lois Lerner chose to make a voluntary opening statement discussing her position at the Internal Revenue Service, the report of the Treasury Inspector General issued on May 14, 2013, the Department of Justice’s investigation into matters described by the Inspector General’s report, and concerns that Ms. Lerner provided false information regarding the Internal Revenue Service’s processing of applications for tax exemption. Against that backdrop, Ms. Lerner further stated: “I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.”
Whereas, Ms. Lerner’s self-selected and entirely voluntary, opening statement constituted a waiver of her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination because a witness may not testify voluntarily about a subject and then invoke the privilege against self-incrimination when questioned about the details.
Resolved, That the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform determines that the voluntary statement offered by Ms. Lerner constituted a waiver of her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination as to all questions within the subject matter of the Committee hearing that began on May 22, 2013, including questions relating to (i) Ms. Lerner’s knowledge of any targeting by the Internal Revenue Service of particular groups seeking tax exempt status and (ii) questions relating to any facts or information that would support or refute her assertions that, in that regard, “she has not done anything wrong,” “not broken any laws” “not violated any IRS rules or regulations,” and or “not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.”
Update: Read the Associated Press coverage here.