Boehner on IRS Scandal: 'I Want to Know Who Is Going to Jail'

By Susan Jones | April 8, 2014 | 7:53am EDT

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) (AP File Photo)

( - House Speaker John Boehner says the House Ways and Means Committee will go into executive session on Wednesday to outline the criminal case against former IRS official Lois Lerner for "misleading the Congress."

"When someone asked me the question, well, who should be fired? I said I don't know -- I don't care who is going to be fired. I want to know who is going to jail," Boehner told Fox News's Megyn Kelly on Monday.

"The fact is that the IRS -- there are specific laws that protect taxpayers and force the IRS to comply with the law. Somebody at the IRS violated the law."

Lerner, who has refused to answer questions about the IRS targeting of tea party groups, is expected to be held in contempt of Congress on Thursday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is working with Ways and Means on the IRS investigation.

Boehner said the full House will vote on the anticipated contempt resolution after the Easter recess.

"Listen, I made clear, Lois Lerner was either going to tell us the truth or we were going to hold her in contempt. And if she's not going to tell us the truth, we are going to hold her in contempt. The House will vote. The House will hold her in contempt," Boehner said.

Lerner, the former director of IRS exempt organizations, has refused to answer questions about the extra scrutiny applied to conservative groups that applied to the IRS for tax-exempt status.

According to Treasury Department Inspector General J. Russell George, who audited the IRS, "We determined the IRS developed and used inappropriate criteria to identify applications from organizations with the words Tea Party in their names."

The IRS has admitted that between May 2010 and May 2012, certain conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status were inappropriately subjected to heightened scrutiny, which delayed approvals for months, and sometimes, years.

In her only remarks to the House Oversight Committee in May 2013, Lerner said, "I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee."

Boehner and other Republicans say Lerner gave up her right to plead the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination when she read her opening statement to the Oversight Committee.

She has twice refused to testify before that committee, most recently last month -- yet she did speak with prosecutors at the Justice Department. "I don't know why she wouldn't talk to the Congress and to the American people," Boehner said.

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