House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), as usual, claims the IRS is hiding something.
Lois Lerner, the IRS director in charge of overseeing nonprofit groups, refused to answer lawmakers’ questions during a Wednesday hearing by pleading the fifth, which allows individuals not to answer questions in matters of criminal cases if they are not in court with a jury.
“Well, [it] looks to me like the IRS has got something to hide here,” Boehner said on Fox News Wednesday. “The White House has changed the story of what happened and what they knew and when they knew it about half a dozen times already.”
Boehner, an experienced law maker, expressed his frustration with Lerner, but also explained that he’s looking to put people in jail.
“It’s clear that this appears to be a pervasive problem. As I said last week, I’m not interested in who’s going to resign, I’m interested in who’s going to jail. There are specific laws that pertain to IRS employees… There’s a serious problem, and I think it’s our job to get to the bottom of it,” Boehner said.
If Boehner is in fact interested in putting people in jail, as he expressly said, then wasting time on Congressional hearings seems to be pointless when he could be drawing up criminal charges against IRS employees. Then again, the Speaker doesn’t have any authority in any judicial proceedings, which could be a reason why he’s hesitant to take this case off of the political stage and into an actual court.
Boehner should understand that his Congressional hearings won’t be able to put anyone in jail. Lerner understands that, so instead of being manhandled by Congress like a chess piece, she simply removed herself from the situation altogether, as was her Constitutional right. She also quite successfully reminded the public that Boehner is a lawmaker and not a grand jury.