House Holds Lois Lerner in Contempt of Congress

May 7, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House of Representatives voted in favor of H. Res. 574, a resolution to find Lois G. Lerner in contempt of Congress for her refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena issued by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Cole supported this resolution that passed the House today by a vote of 231-187. 

Lerner is the Former Director of Exempt Organizations at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which was exposed last year for purposefully targeting conservative and religious groups seeking tax-exempt status—most noticeably, those associated with the tea party. Today’s legislative action comes after Lerner attempted to plead the Fifth Amendment after she had already made a defensive statement  during a May 22 hearing conducted by the Oversight Committee to investigate the unconstitutional targeting of conservative groups within her department of the IRS. 

“The IRS is a frighteningly powerful entity in the first place,” said Cole. “When rogue employees abuse that power to attempt to silence political speech, it is especially chilling.  All Americans have a reasonable expectation that their freedom of speech and religion will be protected.  Americans also expect and trust that those responsible for threatening these rights will be held accountable and justice will be served. Due to her refusal to cooperate with the IRS investigation, it seems that Lois Lerner thinks she is above the law.  She and any other IRS employees who engaged in this shameful episode need to learn that they are not.”

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Contact: Sarah Corley (202) 225-6165