IRS Official to Plead the Fifth at House Hearing

White House Reuters

Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official who revealed the agency was giving extra scrutiny to conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, will assert her constitutional right not to answer questions to a congressional committee on Wednesday, her lawyer said in a letter obtained by Reuters.

Continue Reading Below

"She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course," Lerner's attorney, William Taylor, wrote to the chairman of the House of Representatives committee that is holding hearings into the IRS.

Taylor said he had advised Lerner to assert her Fifth Amendment right due to allegations made by the committee chairman, Darrell Issa, that she had provided false and misleading information to Congress.

Issa has issued a subpoena to demand that Lerner attend his panel's hearing on Wednesday, the third in less than two weeks since the scandal first erupted, according to a second document obtained by Reuters.