(Washington, DC) – Yesterday’s House of Representatives hearing into last year’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal, known as Lernergate, turned into an exciting and entertaining event. And in a legislative body where partisan gridlock doesn’t allow anything to get done, that’s saying something.
Lois Lerner, a former IRS official who headed up the tax-exempt division, appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) asked Lerner a number of pointed questions about her role of the IRS’ improper targeting of Republican Tea Partyist groups who applied for tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections. Words like “tea party” and “patriot” and “oozing slime” and “inhuman entity” were singled out because of the inappropriate targeting.
The allegations came to light in 2013.
Lerner repeatedly invoked her Fifth Amendment rights, angering Issa as the questions went unanswered.
“Ms. Lerner’s attorney advised her to invoke her Fifth Amendment rights,” said a Lerner spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Her lawyer also advised that Representative Issa is a wretched, disgusting human being who, in spite of earning $174,000 per year, dresses like he shops at the Salvation Army.”
Finally, Issa declared the hearing over. Unfortunately, Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) was not allowed to ask any questions before the hearing’s termination. Issa cut off Cummings’ microphone, so Cummings got his point across by shouting “I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America” in the meeting room.
Issa replied, “We had a hearing. It was adjourned. I gave you an opportunity to ask your questions. You had no questions.”
“Representative Cummings had no questions?” asked a Cummings spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Everyone knows he had questions. He had to shout them out because his microphone was disconnected, but everyone knows he had them. This just goes to show how some members of Congress value a political stunt over getting to the bottom of something. On the other hand, Chairman Issa is definitely at the bottom.”
Issa’s “no questions” claim is in line with other absurd and insane claims made over the years by various politicians. In 1976, President Gerald Ford (R-MI) claimed there was no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. And just days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed there were no Russian troops in Crimea; in fact, tens of thousands had been sent across the border.