Boehner Won't Issue an Arrest Warrant for Lerner If Holder Fails to Prosecute Her
(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker John Boehner indicated on Sunday that if Attorney General Eric Holder doesn't proceed with the contempt charge against former IRS official Lois Lerner, that will be the end of it.
"The contempt charge has gone to the attorney general. And it's up to the attorney general, Eric Holder, to prosecute this. And to assign someone to prosecute the case. Now will they do it? We don't know. But the ball is in his court," Boehner told Fox News's Maria Bartiromo.
Asked if he would consider issuing an arrest warrant for Lerner, Boehner said although the Constitution allows it, he won't do it.
"And so that's a -- I'm not quite sure that we want to get on that path," he said.
"So you're not looking to do that?" Bartiromo asked him.
"No. It's never been used," Boehner said. "I'm not the historian here. But it has never been used. And I'm not sure that it's an appropriate way to go about this. It's up to Eric Holder to do his job."
"Do you think he will?" Bartiromo asked.
"I don't know," Boehner said -- leaving it at that.
(Press reports noted that Congress did arrest someone cited for contempt, once, in 1935.)
The House of Representatives voted 231-187 last week to hold Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about her role in the targeting of conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status before the 2012 election.
Lerner invoked her 5th Amendment rights after reading an opening statement in which she declared she'd done nothing wrong. Republicans said the fact that she gave a statement made her fair game for questioning.
The House also passed a resolution last week asking Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS tax-exempt office.
Holder himself was held in contempt of Congress in June 2012 for failing to produce documents subpoenaed by Congress in connection with the Fast and Furious gun-running investigation.