Skip to comments.Lois Lerner could go to jail in contempt clash
Posted on 03/30/2014 8:54:52 AM PDT by sgtyork
This may come as a shock to Lois Lerner, but the House of Representatives has the authority to jail her unless she changes her mind about refusing to answer questions about her role in the IRS scandal. Essentially, what is required for that to happen is for a House majority to vote for a motion holding her in contempt and House Speaker John Boehner to then direct the House sergeant at arms to arrest and confine her. Under the Constitution, the House can do that under its inherent contempt authority, which was initially exercised in 1795 during the First Congress and on multiple occasions thereafter. Lerner could be held until January 2015 when a new Congress is seated, which could issue another subpoena and throw her in the clink again if she still balks at testifying.
According to a 2012 Congressional Research Service report, inherent contempt has the unique advantage that it doesnt require the cooperation or assistance of either the executive or judicial branches. The House or Senate can, on its own, conduct summary proceedings and cite the offender for contempt. The prospect of an eight or nine month stretch in the congressional slammer might have a sobering effect on Lerner. On the other hand, neither the House nor the Senate has used this authority since 1935, according to the CRS report, because the process can be unseemly and time-consuming.
The prospect of an eight or nine month stretch in the congressional slammer might have a sobering effect on Lerner.
Plus, Lerner may be on solid ground in thinking Boehner and other House Republicans don't have the political spine to jail her. But just as the South's massive resistance in the 1950s to racial integration was doomed to fail because it could not be sustained over time, the Obama administration's comprehensive refusal since November 2010 to cooperate with legitimate congressional oversight by House committees may be sowing seeds of frustration that eventually undercut Lerner's calculation of how long she can keep silent. Chairman Darrell Issa of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Jim Jordan, who heads that panel's oversight subcommittee, are patient individuals but perhaps not that patient.
Something else is also clear: House leaders have effectively laid the legal predicate for a contempt vote. Earlier this week, the Office of General Counsel for the House delivered its opinion that Issa's committee has satisfied all legal requirements in its dealings with Lerner and her Fifth Amendment claim, so there is no constitutional impediment to the committee approving a resolution recommending that the full House hold Ms. Lerner in contempt of Congress
Contempt citations aren't common but neither are they a thing of the past. Among those cited for contempt just since 1980 are such notables as Attorney General Eric Holder, then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and then-White House General Counsel Harriet Miers, then-Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Anne Gorsuch Burford and then-EPA Assistant Administrator Rita Lavelle.
We should be sending more of them off to jail
Throw em all in jail.
As far as I’m concerned she is a common criminal and a traitor, to boot. Of course he needs to be jailed - until she talks. Any so-called Republican who would not vote to put her in jail for contempt is a traitor, too.
GOOD! It’s where she, and ALL the other corrupt Obama minions, belong/s!
Fine with me and while they are sending people to jail,round up the obama administration.That’s a start.
I will believe it when I see it. Until then.... Yawn.......
Republicans, the party of all bark and no bite.
Not in our lifetimes. We need a leader with the fortitude to bring respect and discipline back to the lower house. It isn't Boner, Cantor, or Issa.
I think Lerner is guilty of criminal actions but i think she did it on orders from higher up.
But I do not think you EVER give up your right to the fifth ammendment on a ‘technicality’
If they have people who she ordered to do things then proceed right to a criminal case and call them as witnesses and convict her.
It’s then up to her is she wants to plea bargain for giving up info
Yes, but ...
... Boehner and other House Republicans don't have the political spine to jail her.
So, the bottom line is, she has absolutely nothing to worry about.
You are right on. Eric Holder will not do a thing when the info is sent to him from Congress.
Yeah. Any day now.
And I’m going to win the Miss America pageant this year too!
Well that's the flaw in the plan right there.
She testified under oath that she did nothing wrong. The committee is entitled to cross examine her on that point.
By making a statement after being sworn in, she has already testified on the issue of her criminality. Whoever advised her to read a statement after being sworn in committed malpractice. Her remedy is not to be subject to cross examination, but to sue her attorney for malpractice.
You want me to do that?
Eric Holder and the DOJ have nothing to do with the Congress' (in this case the House of Representatives) ability to hold someone in contempt and jail them.
—you have it-—and, look what happened to “pants thief” Sandy Berger under a nominally Repub Administration—
Sure just like Holder spent the last several years in jail for contempt of Congress.
could should go to jail in contempt clash
Waiting till the word should can be changed to the word will.
Bonehead and Cantor?
They don’t want to actually make Lerner pay a price.
They just want to use it as a campaign tool.
> the House of Representatives has the authority to jail her<
A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action!
Maybe the YouTube link should be sent every House Republican.
She has to calculate the risk of spending an eight or nine month stretch in the congressional slammer, Vs the possibility of being dead forever.
If Lerner were a Republican and if Democrats controlled the House, then yes, she probably would be sent to jail. But unfortunately, Republican control the House. So the chance of them actually doing anything to punish her remains equal to the probability of Obama releasing his college records.
That mere wrist slaps have become the norm speaks volumes.
A bank treats its depositors in a fraudulent manner. The bank get fined (read, the bank’s shareholders pay for it). How much better if the bank CEO, and others if appropriate, be put in prison? As it stands, the CEO receives no real punishment.
Same with Lerner, Holder, et al. Time in jail is significant.
Forcing Lerner to “suffer” through administrative leave with pay is a joke.
She could go to jail but she won’t. Nobody will go to jail. What else is new?
I’d bet she has a better chance of getting her own show on CNN than going to jail.
Turkey neck will not go to jail. The corrupt ‘justice’ department will see to it that she doesn’t.
There is enough evidence in the public domain to conclude that Lois Lerner at least participated in violations of citizens’ rights, perhaps presided over the violations, or conspired with others to do so.
This is a crime, and she’s obstructing justice.
Put her in jail.
In what parallel universe? Shirley not in this one.
I've yet to see a spine, except from Trey Gowdy. I hope they are stringing her out so she'll name names (like obammy).
And why aren't Repubs out in front of cameras every day likening this to Watergate. Repeat it often enough and...
The DOJ has nothing to do with Congress' ability to hold someone in contempt and jail them. It is up to Boehner to allow contempt proceedings to be held. That is where the bottleneck is - Boehner!
Boehner won’t do it.
Not much chance with the GOP leadership declaring war on the Tea Party - the enemy of my enemy is my friend or ally.
Does anybody here think Bonehead has the rocks to do this? I don’t.
Every person who having been summoned as a witness by the authority of either House of Congress to give testimony or to produce papers upon any matter under inquiry before either House, or any joint committee established by a joint or concurrent resolution of the two Houses of Congress, or any committee of either House of Congress, willfully makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any question pertinent to the question under inquiry, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than [$100,000] nor less than $100 and imprisonment in a common jail for not less than one month nor more than twelve months.
But will the House have the b*lls to put her behind bars?
Imagine the backlash coming from Obama, RATS and MSM.
Such action would set a precedence for future revenge when the tables are turned.
Lois Lerner knew instinctively, that, it was in the best interest of bigger government and its enablers, the Bolshecrat Party, the TEA party needed to be stopped. Should she ever get immunity it will stop with her and no one else will be charged.
Oh yes, Lois Lerner could go to jail. And monkeys could fly out of my rear end. Frankly with the sort of Republican leadership we now have I believe the latter possibility to be more likely.
Surely not Shirley!
Step One in this process is trying to figure out how to retrive certain important body parts Boehner needs from the Clinton Lock Box.
Concur, John Boehner is compromised and Lizard Queen Jarrett put him on call a long time ago.