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Scream-fest at IRS hearing: Lerner takes 5th, Issa adjourns, congressman flips

Rep. Elijah Cummings delivers opening remarks during a House Oversight Committee hearing on another matter.
Rep. Elijah Cummings delivers opening remarks during a House Oversight Committee hearing on another matter.
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lois Lerner, formerly an employee of the Internal Revenue Service, returned to testify before the House Oversight Committee this morning, but after again invoking her right to plead the Fifth Amendment in the investigation, Chairman Darrell Issa "released" her and adjourned the meeting, and this triggered his colleague Elijah Cummings to begin screaming.

After Issa's statement that he then saw "no point in going further," according to multiple news organizations including BusinessInsider, Congressman Cummings let it be known that he was not, in fact, ready for the hearing to be over. From Cummings:

"I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America! I am tired of this!"

Cummings also called the investigation "un-American," and there were other voices shouting "Shame! Shame!" as Issa apparently turned off Cummings' microphone. When Cummings convinced Issa to let him speak again, Cummings began shouting again into the microphone, and Issa turned it off again.


As last reported by the Examiner, a letter written by Lerner's lawyer William Taylor III to Issa stated:

“Ms. Lerner has been the subject of numerous threats on her life and safety, and on the life and safety of her family.”

That letter from Lerner's lawyer came after a summons letter from Vista Representative and Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, in which Issa states how important her testimony is to the investigation. Quoting from Issa's letter:

“Documents and testimony obtained by the Committee show that she played a significant role in scrutinizing applications for tax exempt status from conservative organizations.”

Vista's Representative Issa believes former IRS employee Lerner "is at the center" of the targeting scandal. Lerner, the former Director of the Exempt Organizations unit at the IRS, was summoned to appear in the hope that she would answer questions as a person involved in the so-called "off plan."

The mention of "off-plan" work came straight out of a letter from Ruth Madrigal at the Treasury Department to IRS employee Lois G. Lerner, and it is uploaded onto the House WaysandMeans website.

A partial video clip of the unusual spectacle Wednesday morning can be found at the Breitbart website.

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