Tuesday, March 11, 2014

House Oversight Committee Staff Report on Lois Lerner (3/11/14)

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has issued its report on the Lois Lerner episode.  The report is titled Lois Lerner's Involvement in the IRS Targeting of Tax-Exempt Organizations, here.  This is a staff report.

I have not had time to study the report.  My gut reaction from perusing it is that it is a political document, and that she made the right call in invoking the Fifth Amendment privilege, not because the evidence supports her guilt of anything but because the evidence supports that the House majority had found her guilty long ago. So, my only comment is to repeat a quote, variously worded, from the inimitable Daniel Patrick Moynihan: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

I have done a quick Google search and, not surprisingly, the majority's blogosphere base is wholeheartedly praising the report.

Addendum 3/11/14 6:00 PM:  Let me say that, in my own way, I hope that the report calls it exactly right.  For, if it does not, if it is materially wrong in in reporting of the facts and the fair inferences from the facts, the staff and those who led the staff have done this country a great disservice, not to mention the people they have libeled with no consequence to the staff and those who led the staff.

Addendum 3/12/14 10:06 AM:

Readers of this blog know the standard precaution that is given when serious charges against U.S. citizens are made by way of an indictment:\
The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
See e.g., a sample USAO SDNY press release announcing an indictment here.

The question raised by this report is whether that precaution applies when charges are made against U.S. citizens by a partisan congressional committee?

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