© AP/Lauren Victoria Burke
Former IRS official Lois Lerner.
At a short but contentious congressional hearing on Wednesday, former IRS official Lois Lerner repeatedly invoked her 5th Amendment right not to testify about the IRS targeting of tea party groups. This was the second time Lerner has declined to answer questions put to her by the House oversight committee.
Asked if he was considering a contempt citation against Lerner, Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said, "that's certainly something that has to be considered." He said he hoped to get answers from Lerner, and the committee will continue to seek answers in other places.
Issa adjourned the hearing while the ranking member, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), was speaking. Issa said Cummings was recognized to ask a question but instead "went into an opening statement," and therefore his microphone was turned off.
"The fact is, Mr. Cummings came to make a point of his objections to the process we've been going through," Issa said outside the hearing room. "He was actually slandering me at the moment that the the mics did go off -- by claiming that this has not been a real investigation.
"This has been a bipartisan investigation by multiple committees in which we had testimony in multiple hearings...in which it was very clear there was targeting of conservative groups -- in which there were people acting outside the norm," Issa said.