pic_giant_052313_Lois-Lerner-Fifth-Amendment

Lois Lerner, a central figure in the Internal Revenue Service/Tea Party scandal, who asserted her innocence before invoking the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, will be recalled before a House panel and could potentially negotiate an immunity deal.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Friday voted along party lines for a resolution to require Lerner, the director of the exempt organizations unit of the IRS — now on paid leave after revelations the IRS was targeting Tea Party organizations — to return after a May 22 hearing that was never formally adjourned. Because the hearing was not formally adjourned, another subpoena will not have to be issued.

The committee is open to an immunity deal for Lerner, but no deal has been reached yet, said Frederic Hill, spokesman for the Republicans on the House Oversight Committee.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said this was at the heart of Congress’ ability to investigate.

“I have identified nine separate specific assertions made by Lois Lerner on May 22 and that was after she asserted after she asserted her right, nine separate specific assertions, including Mr. Chairman, I have done nothing wrong, I have broken no laws, I have provided no false information to Congress, I have violated no IRS rules, I have violated no IRS regulations, and then Mr. Chairman she authenticated a document, all of this Mr. Chairman after she invoked her right to remain silent,” said Gowdy, a former state prosecutor.

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