Today U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis voted with a majority of members on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to hold former Director of Tax Exempt Organizations at the Internal Revenue Service Lois Lerner in contempt. Lerner has refused to answer questions and has failed to cooperate with the committee's ongoing investigation of the IRS political targeting scandal despite being subpoenaed to do so. House counsel advised that Lerner had waived her 5th amendment rights by declaring her innocence and by, after invoking her right to remain silent, answering questions posed by the Democratic members of the oversight panel. Commenting on the contempt vote, Rep. Lummis issued the following statement:
"It is often said "the power to tax is the power to destroy'. In the past we have seen this power wielded to take down such notorious figures as Al Capone, the gangster from the 1920's. But now we have seen Lois Lerner use this same destructive power against the very people who it was designed to serve. Ms. Lerner said "I have done nothing wrong, I have broken no laws'. But that is a falsehood and her own emails document her raw partisan agenda against conservatives' rights to free speech. The Oversight Committee needs to find the truth and to that end it we need answers from Lois Lerner. Lerner's actions while employed at the IRS and her refusal to answer the questions posed by the committee are truly contemptible and I appreciate the committee's decision to hold her in that contempt."