Lois Lerner's lawyer is in talks with Darrell Issa over receiving immunity in exchange for her testimony. She has requested it before and Issa rejected it. This time it's different. Her lawyer is informing the chairman what his client is willing to testify to. Almost without a doubt, it includes naming higher ups.
Last week, Lerner announced her retirement and that means she will get the full range of retirement benefits. She is now in a position that is tenuous, because if she is found guilty of a crime, she would go to jail and she would forfeit part if not all of her pension and all of her other benefits. She has a lot of incentive to talk.
Issa, on the other hand, would only have incentive to make the deal if Lerner was to provide damaging testimony against her superiors. Otherwise, he wants her prosecuted. Because of her position, she would be in a position to give very damaging testimony, if indeed she possesses any.
While Lerner deserves to be punished for what she did, the committee would have to consider what she is offering as opposed to the protection they give her. Immunity deals are contracts. If either side violates the agreement, the agreement becomes null and void. Therefore, if she decided to not reveal things she has promised, the immunity deal goes away.
It is unclear how high or how far reaching the IRS scandal reaches.