A former IRS official at the center of the agency’s improper targeting of conservative groups answered exactly zero questions Wednesday about her supposed role in the scandal.
Lois Lerner instead invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination nine times during the House Oversight Committee hearing, prompting Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to adjourn the session within minutes of its beginning.
“My counsel has advised me that I have not waived my Constitutional rights under the Fifth Amendment and on his advice I will decline to answer any question on the subject matter of this hearing,” she said in response a question from Issa.
The California congressman continued, asking Lerner a series of question regarding her alleged involvement in the IRS targeting scandal. But each question was met with the Fifth Amendment.
“On the advice of my counsel I respectfully exercise my Fifth Amendment right and decline to answer that question,” she said in response to the chairman’s inquiries.
Lerner is the former head of the IRS division that handles applications for tax-exempt status and which she admitted inappropriately targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny. Lerner has refused to answer questions about her role in the scandal since revealing the targeting last year.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Sunday he was certain Lerner would testify at the hearing, but was ultimately proven wrong.
Programming note: What could the government be covering up when it repeatedly ignores requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act? Find out what investigative journalists and watchdog organizations are uncovering about the IRS scandal on Wednesday’s ‘For The Record’ only on TheBlaze TV at 8 p.m. ET. You can even watch a special episode preview before the show.
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This post has been updated.