Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) released the following statement after the House voted to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, and called on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS targeting scandal:
"Lois Lerner cannot assert her innocence in front of a Congressional committee and then claim Fifth Amendment protection to refuse to fully account for her role in the IRS targeting of conservative groups. For almost a year, Ms. Lerner has impeded the Congressional investigation into a scandal that has rocked the public's trust in their own government, and so today's vote to hold her in contempt is not one that I or my colleagues take lightly. Despite her lack of cooperation, we now know that Lois Lerner was at the center of an effort to try and shut down the ability of individuals to participate in the public debate, violating the constitutional rights of American citizens.
"Criminal wrongdoing is clearly present in this case, as outlined last month in charges leveled against Ms. Lerner by the Ways and Means Committee. But there is still too much we don't know, and it appears our referral has not prompted even the slightest meaningful action from those investigating the case at the Department of Justice. A special counsel, capable of conducting a fair and unbiased investigation into the IRS scandal, could produce the facts that the Obama Administration refuses to provide or pursue. The American people have waited too long for answers on how their own government began singling out individuals for their political beliefs. It is time for accountability and it is time for answers."