(by John D. McKinnon, Wall Street Journal) -- Former IRS official Lois Lerner testifying to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last May. She cited the Fifth Amendment at a congressional hearing yesterday.
A former Internal Revenue Service official who declined to answer questions at a congressional hearing, citing the Fifth Amendment, gave a full interview to the Justice Department, her lawyer said.
That’s raising questions among Republican lawmakers, who wonder whether her choice to talk to Justice reflects a lack of concern about the DOJ probe. They also question the propriety of letting her avoid questions by lawmakers when she is answering DOJ’s.
The comments by Lois Lerner‘s attorney “cast further doubt on the seriousness of the Justice Department’s so-called investigation of IRS targeting, as well as the legal basis of Ms. Lerner’s refusal to testify before Congress,” said Frederick Hill, a spokesman for committee Republicans. “There is a clear contradiction between refusing to testify based on a supposed fear of prosecution and talking to the prosecutors.”
The Justice Department declined to comment.