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HOUSE HANGS IRS HOPES ON HOLDER’S HELP
House Republicans are winding up to hold former IRS executive Lois Lerner in contempt for refusing to testify about the agency’s targeting of President Obama’s political enemies. But as long as a criminal investigation bobs along at the Obama Justice Department, there’s little to cause Lerner to get chatty. The open investigation gives her a Fifth Amendment haven. So what can frustrated lawmakers do? House members today will debate whether to ask the Justice Department to seek criminal contempt charges against Lerner beyond the allegations of wrongdoing in the corruption scandal itself. You read that right. House Republicans want to ask an attorney general whom they have held in contempt of Congress for almost two years for failing to provide documents to bring contempt charges against a former fellow administration official. Gotcha.
[Watch Fox: Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel has the latest developments on the Lerner contempt charges from Capitol Hill.]
Hey, buddy - Based on Attorney General Eric Holder’s dismissive showing in testimony Tuesday, there’s little reason to believe that he thinks much of the demands of the House of Representatives. Holder has stymied Republicans on not only the botched gunrunning sting that led to his contempt of Congress charge in 2012 but also the doctored White House talking points on the Islamist raid in Benghazi, Libya, the Justice Department’s snooping on journalists, domestic surveillance polices and more. When Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, mocked Holder for not caring about being in contempt, the attorney general flared: “You don't want to go there, buddy.” Holder added that the contempt charge was “inappropriate” and “unjust” and cautioned Gohmert “never think that was not a big deal to me. Don’t ever think that.” Sounds like just the guy to help Republicans out on cornering Lois Lerner, right?