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Lois Lerner could go to jail in contempt clash
The Washington Examiner ^ | March 27, 2014 | editorial board

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 doesn’t 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.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 113th; bho44; bhoirs; contemptofcongress; coverup; cultureofcorruption; demlies; irs; irsscandal; loislerner
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This editorial was posted by the TaxProf Blog who seems pretty authoritative and has been posting daily on the IRS corrupt bullying and theft of Americans's free speech rights.
1 posted on 03/30/2014 8:54:52 AM PDT by sgtyork
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To: sgtyork

We should be sending more of them off to jail


2 posted on 03/30/2014 8:56:39 AM PDT by ronnie raygun (Im missing a jumbo jet with 235 passengers has anyone seen it?)
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To: sgtyork

Throw em all in jail.


3 posted on 03/30/2014 8:57:51 AM PDT by Old Retired Army Guy
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To: sgtyork

Outstanding!


4 posted on 03/30/2014 8:58:14 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: sgtyork

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.


5 posted on 03/30/2014 8:58:47 AM PDT by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
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To: sgtyork

GOOD! It’s where she, and ALL the other corrupt Obama minions, belong/s!


6 posted on 03/30/2014 8:58:51 AM PDT by originalbuckeye (Moderation in temper is always a virtue; moderation in principle is always a vice. Paine)
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To: sgtyork

Fine with me and while they are sending people to jail,round up the obama administration.That’s a start.


7 posted on 03/30/2014 8:58:58 AM PDT by peteyd (A dog may bite you in the ass,but it will never stab you in the back.)
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To: sgtyork

I will believe it when I see it. Until then.... Yawn.......

Republicans, the party of all bark and no bite.


8 posted on 03/30/2014 8:59:01 AM PDT by Breto (Stranger in a strange land... where did America go?)
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To: sgtyork
...requires House Speaker John Boehner to then direct the House sergeant at arms to arrest and confine her.

LOLOL....pant, pant...LOL.

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.

9 posted on 03/30/2014 9:00:02 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: sgtyork

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


10 posted on 03/30/2014 9:00:15 AM PDT by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period. PALIN/CRUZ 2016)
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To: sgtyork
... 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.

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.

11 posted on 03/30/2014 9:00:19 AM PDT by JohnG45
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To: Breto

You are right on. Eric Holder will not do a thing when the info is sent to him from Congress.


12 posted on 03/30/2014 9:01:14 AM PDT by TaMoDee (Go Pack Go! The Pack will be back in 2014!)
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To: sgtyork

Yeah. Any day now.

And I’m going to win the Miss America pageant this year too!


13 posted on 03/30/2014 9:02:23 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: sgtyork
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.

Well that's the flaw in the plan right there.

14 posted on 03/30/2014 9:03:07 AM PDT by Maceman
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To: Mr. K
But I do not think you EVER give up your right to the fifth ammendment on a ‘technicality’

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.

15 posted on 03/30/2014 9:03:19 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (There can be no Victory without a fight and no battle without wounds)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

You want me to do that?

16 posted on 03/30/2014 9:04:55 AM PDT by Utah Binger (Southern Utah where the world comes to see America)
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To: TaMoDee
Eric Holder will not do a thing when the info is sent to him from Congress.

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.

17 posted on 03/30/2014 9:06:41 AM PDT by JohnG45
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To: Breto; ProtectOurFreedom

—you have it-—and, look what happened to “pants thief” Sandy Berger under a nominally Repub Administration—


18 posted on 03/30/2014 9:07:33 AM PDT by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the media or government says about firearms or explosives--)
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To: sgtyork
Lerner and ALL of her co-conspirators and bosses, including Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett, deserve prison for their rest of their natural lives.
19 posted on 03/30/2014 9:07:40 AM PDT by Slyfox (When Jesus sees a momma holding her little baby, it reminds him of his own momma.)
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To: sgtyork

Sure just like Holder spent the last several years in jail for contempt of Congress.


20 posted on 03/30/2014 9:11:55 AM PDT by Rightwing Conspiratr1
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To: sgtyork
The House GOP will do nothing, because doing nothing is the safe option. They put Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress in September 2012 and have since done nothing but continue to send Holder letters asking him to comply with subpoenas.

Cowards.

21 posted on 03/30/2014 9:13:43 AM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (You can have a free country or government schools. Choose one.)
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To: sgtyork
A minor correction to the headline:

Lois Lerner could should go to jail in contempt clash

Waiting till the word should can be changed to the word will.

22 posted on 03/30/2014 9:18:01 AM PDT by upchuck (South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy for Speaker of the House!!!)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Bonehead and Cantor?

They don’t want to actually make Lerner pay a price.
They just want to use it as a campaign tool.


23 posted on 03/30/2014 9:18:48 AM PDT by tennmountainman (Just Say No To Obamacare)
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To: sgtyork

> the House of Representatives has the authority to jail her<

A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action!

Elvis. 1968.

Maybe the YouTube link should be sent every House Republican.


24 posted on 03/30/2014 9:19:58 AM PDT by prisoner6 (I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered! I AM A FREE MAN!)
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To: sgtyork

Poor Lois.

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.


25 posted on 03/30/2014 9:20:08 AM PDT by null and void ( Everything evil in the world may not be Islamic but everything Islamic is evil.)
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To: sgtyork

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.


26 posted on 03/30/2014 9:23:58 AM PDT by Hoodat (Democrats - Opposing Equal Protection since 1828)
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To: sgtyork

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.


27 posted on 03/30/2014 9:24:10 AM PDT by upchuck (South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy for Speaker of the House!!!)
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To: ronnie raygun

She could go to jail but she won’t. Nobody will go to jail. What else is new?


28 posted on 03/30/2014 9:25:09 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: sgtyork

I’d bet she has a better chance of getting her own show on CNN than going to jail.


29 posted on 03/30/2014 9:25:34 AM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: sgtyork

Turkey neck will not go to jail. The corrupt ‘justice’ department will see to it that she doesn’t.


30 posted on 03/30/2014 9:30:47 AM PDT by I want the USA back (Media: completely irresponsible traitors. Complicit in the destruction of our country.)
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To: sgtyork
Sure looks like America is speaking up. It's time for the 113th to get fired.
31 posted on 03/30/2014 9:31:11 AM PDT by progunner (no compromise)
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To: sgtyork
Lois Lerner will never get time. She is under the communists umbrella of King Obama.
32 posted on 03/30/2014 9:31:42 AM PDT by Logical me
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To: sgtyork

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.


33 posted on 03/30/2014 9:32:03 AM PDT by wayoverontheright
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To: sgtyork

34 posted on 03/30/2014 9:34:08 AM PDT by BraveMan
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To: sgtyork
re: Lois Lerner could go to jail in contempt clash

In what parallel universe? Shirley not in this one.

35 posted on 03/30/2014 9:35:35 AM PDT by Tupelo (I feel more like Philip Nolan every day)
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To: sgtyork
Plus, Lerner may be on solid ground in thinking Boehner and other House Republicans don't have the political spine to jail her.

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...

36 posted on 03/30/2014 9:36:35 AM PDT by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: I want the USA back
The corrupt ‘justice’ department will see to it that she doesn’t.

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!

37 posted on 03/30/2014 9:37:59 AM PDT by JohnG45
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To: sgtyork

Boehner won’t do it.


38 posted on 03/30/2014 9:40:05 AM PDT by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: sgtyork

Not much chance with the GOP leadership declaring war on the Tea Party - the enemy of my enemy is my friend or ally.


39 posted on 03/30/2014 9:47:06 AM PDT by monocle
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To: sgtyork

Does anybody here think Bonehead has the rocks to do this? I don’t.


40 posted on 03/30/2014 9:53:33 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
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.

You are quite correct, but...

Those "leaders" understand the politics of elections, and the politics of spin and demonization during campaigns.

They can smell victories this election year, and even picking up more seats in the house, and taking over the senate. Democrats could use any issue and turn it into the main and most talked about issue, sidetracking any discussions about Obamacare and the weak economy and high unemployment and our weak military and weak foreign policy. Unfortunately, we might have to put up with a weak set of investigations of the corrupt IRS and Obama administration, until after the elections. We have to keep our focus on the bigger goals this year.
41 posted on 03/30/2014 9:54:46 AM PDT by adorno (Y)
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To: sgtyork
Not sure where Lerner would be placed for Inherent Contempt, but for Statutory Congressional Contempt it's "common jail":

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.

42 posted on 03/30/2014 9:56:27 AM PDT by C210N (When people fear government there is tyranny; when government fears people there is liberty)
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To: sgtyork

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.


43 posted on 03/30/2014 9:57:58 AM PDT by 353FMG
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To: Mr. K
I think Lerner is guilty of criminal actions but i think she did it on orders from higher up.

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.

44 posted on 03/30/2014 10:01:55 AM PDT by depressed in 06 (America conceived in liberty, dies in slavery.)
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To: sgtyork
John Boehner will not direct the House Sergeant at arms to arrest Lois Lerner because he does not want to vindicate The Tea Parties in the IRS dispute. He, like Mitch McConnell, is fighting a guerrilla war against The Tea Party. If it were otherwise, Boehner would already have announced a special committee to investigate the IRS scandal.


45 posted on 03/30/2014 10:03:03 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
Hah, the republicans aren't even pretending to care about this. Laws are only used against ‘little’ people, not big shot govt bureaucrats.
46 posted on 03/30/2014 10:08:10 AM PDT by Bullish (America should yank Obama like a rotten tooth before he poisons the entire body)
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To: sgtyork

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.


47 posted on 03/30/2014 10:09:38 AM PDT by Junk Silver
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To: Tupelo

Surely not Shirley!


48 posted on 03/30/2014 10:12:32 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: sgtyork

Step One in this process is trying to figure out how to retrive certain important body parts Boehner needs from the Clinton Lock Box.


49 posted on 03/30/2014 10:13:02 AM PDT by sjmjax (Politicans are much like bananas. They start off green, turn yellow then rot.)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Concur, John Boehner is compromised and Lizard Queen Jarrett put him on call a long time ago.


50 posted on 03/30/2014 10:14:01 AM PDT by DAC21
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