Rep. Stockman: Arrest Lois Lerner for Contempt of Congress

By Barbara Hollingsworth | July 11, 2014 | 3:12pm EDT

Lois Lerner, who served as director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division. (AP Photo)

( – Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Tex.) has formally requested that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) order the House sergeant-at-arms to arrest former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner and hold her in the D.C. Jail until she answers to Congress for her “insolent contempt,” “breach of its privileges,” and “wanton insult to the integrity of its proceedings.”

Lerner, the former director of the IRS’ Exempt Organizations Division, was held in contempt of Congress, a criminal offense, on May 7 after she refused to answer questions at a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform into allegations that the IRS targeted Tea Party and conservative groups, claiming Fifth Amendment immunity.

Republicans on the committee claimed that Lerner waived that right when she declared her innocence.

It was recently revealed that Lerner had sent emails warning other IRS employees about the congressional investigation. But the IRS claims all her emails were lost when her computer hard drive crashed in 201l.

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton ordered the IRS to find Lerner’s missing computer hard drive, which the agency claims was recycled, and give him a timetable of its efforts to retrieve it.

In the resolution (H.Res. 664) Stockman filed Thursday, he accused Lerner of “willfully and intentionally refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, thereby obstructing the Congress in the lawful exercise of its constitutionally mandated legislative powers.”

“While in custody, Lerner shall enjoy no special privileges beyond those extended to her fellow inmates, shall not access any computer or telephone, and shall not be visited by anyone other than her counsel, clergy, physician, or family,” the resolution states.

Stockman said he filed the resolution because the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, who has authority to prosecute Lerner, has not done so, adding that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Congress’s power to arrest those found in contempt four times.

“Asking the Justice Department to prosecute Lois Lerner for admittedly illegal activity is a joke,” Stockman said in a statement. “The Obama administration will not prosecute the Obama administration.”

“How much longer will the House allow itself to be mocked?  It is up to this House to uphold the rule of law and hold accountable those who illegally targeted American citizens for simply having different ideas than the President," he said.

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