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President Fox News alert the top IRS official who invoke the Fifth Amendment earlier today -- refused to answer questions before the house oversight committee.
Maybe call back to Capitol Hill to testify now this bombshell development.
Comes to us courtesy of chairman Darrell I -- a mortgage that -- -- waived her fifth amendment rights by.
Delivering this opening statement let's take a look.
I have not done anything wrong.
I have not broken any laws.
I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations and I have not provided false information.
To this or any other congressional committee.
And while I would very much like to answer the committee's questions today.
I've been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify or answer questions related to the subject matter of this hearing.
-- so was this a major legal misstep on the part of most -- and her attorney is now a number of congressmen including South Carolina straight -- dowdy but actually believe it was.
She just testified she just waive your Fifth Amendment right to privilege.
You don't get to tell your side of the story and then not be subjected to cross examination that's not the way it works.
She -- to -- the Fifth Amendment privilege Bob by issuing an opening statement she ought to stand here and answer our questions.
-- fortunately moments later -- repeatedly refused to answer any questions regarding the tax agencies targeting of conservatives and as a result.
She was ordered to leave the room might chairman -- however the former commissioner of the I -- Doug showman.
Treasury inspector general Jay Russell George and the deputy secretary of the treasury -- -- and well they -- get off so easily and because you probably were not able to watch a hearing in its entirety as usual.
We did it for you we have all the highlights take a look.
You -- didn't talk to anyone at the White House about this issue mr.
About singling out conservative groups.
For special scrutiny.
Well that's -- talk about isn't absolutely sure I did not talk to and a 118 -- a big come up in a casual conversation.
After a 132 members of congress contacted you about you -- didn't bring it up with anybody at the White House.
And he didn't not to my memory at what would be some of the reasons -- -- view of the -- us beyond.
The Easter egg roll.
Would my kids I just want to be clear yeah you're very aware of the fact you're under us today.
Yet very aware that.
You went to -- -- -- eighteen times when the key sudden she talked about with the implementation enforcement of the Affordable Care Act.
Targeting of groups who came into existence because they oppose the Affordable Care Act and you never brought it up and it does conversation although is this the White House when this is a major topic of conversation.
No I did not -- happened on my watch.
I can I do not accept responsibilities for all the actions.
But taken -- that people -- lined in the report.
I am deeply disappointed in your answer.
-- -- -- -- -- -- You can't get actually don't know we just whispered something -- -- what he's saying that this is just so frustrating to me you know the whole question here is we've heard this from time to time just about accountability.
And all the scandals we hear the same thing wasn't my job I don't know -- the other office I was accused.
I didn't find out about it until you found out about it where does the accountability be -- You -- this before the election.
What's happening -- this before the election sometime in the spring of 2012 okay that would -- for the election I believe you do know there was an election going on here.
Excuse me you -- know there was a presidential election I'm I'm aware of terrorism election you still don't -- that this was political.
Excuse me you still don't know that this was political I'd I'd defer to the inspector general I'll tell you this mr.
Schulman your predecessor said that he wasn't sure those partisan and that -- the listener to be as stupid as the speaker.
Wow Soledad slowest learner Doug Schulman and the rest of the officials poor leadership positions at the IRS -- all this was going on one simple question.
What is so dangerous about the truth don't the American people deserve answers don't they deserve the truth.
To me it's that simple and joining me now with reaction to today's hearing.
The chairman of the house oversight committee California congressman -- -- and house oversight committee member of Ohio congressman Jim Jordan gentlemen thank you for -- -- us.
And -- thanks Verisign.
Pressure on and thanks for covering this important hearing.
It's very important mr.
chairman did -- learner by given that opening statement do you believe that she -- terror.
Are right that a Fifth Amendment right.
-- Sean when -- -- raised a point of order that she had waived her right.
-- to take it seriously we have refer to to console it does appear as though.
Clearly under president -- making these statements these denials on the subject for which she was subpoenaed.
In addition to some other documents she authenticated afterwards crosses the line by quite a bit.
We want to make sure we go to -- we get independent.
Adjudication if you will of this question but we recess the hearing so that we have the right to call her back.
You know -- there's one thing is a bigger problem though is if she waived her rights as we believe she did and -- Yani made a motion that she did.
This same thing we'll hound her in criminal investigations Department of Justice anywhere else she goes.
If she's committed some sort of a crime she's waived -- rights relative to criminal prosecution which is different than us but same problem.
chairman -- she in fact -- -- -- that does that mean if she were still refuses to testify that she would be held in contempt of congress.
She could be held in contempt.
Ultimately we are very fortunate that most people come voluntarily before our committee and whistle blowers people who go to government oversight.
We don't blow the whistle dot com.
In fact are coming forward including a lot of these Tea Party groups that want to make their records available to the committee so that we can act on their behalf.
So a lot of the activities we're gonna get a lot of the information we're guessing getting out -- whistle blowers and voluntary witnesses.
We're deeply disappointed we're hoping she'll reconsider in light tougher waving her but -- potentially waiving her Fifth Amendment right.
It's congressman Jordan you brought up the issue today this 118 visits Baden and some -- that I guess you brought up was to talk about obamacare the Affordable Care Act.
-- -- as stunned as I was when asked what some of these visits -- Bowden and the answer was well I was there for the Easter egg roll with -- kids.
Yeah 118 visits on and we know a substantial number of them were about the Affordable Care Act about obamacare.
And I -- got to go back to when this started.
March of 2010.
That very month obamacare became law.
This agency starts targeting conservative groups who came into existence because they oppose Obama care.
So it all started in march of 2010.
And now you have -- going to the White House.
A 118 times in 2010 and 2011.
What was he talking about he had to be talking about Obama -- a lot in fact he admitted that under oath today.
So if any those conversations did you talk about this scandal that's going on because remember he did find out about the key identifying words Tea Party 912 and patriot.
He knew those were part.
Being being used to develop this list last year or so at some point you it is so he talked to somebody at the White House about this.
But he kept saying no he didn't but let me ask the follow -- about this because of this showman did testify before congress and -- -- march.
Twelve I believe 12012.
When he was asked about this very issue.
He -- I didn't absolutely it is not happening but we now know that they -- six months before the selection that in fact this had occurred.
And he never went back to the committee he never revised extended his remarks.
Never corrected his remarks any any is this -- -- I can assure you.
That did not think is going on nothing would be it politically focus is going on targeting conservatives -- word to use the term I can assure you so.
That's pretty strong language and then when he finds out it was any doesn't correct the record.
That's a pollen and and and of course he had a lot of questioning about -- about that issue.
-- there was an issue -- chairman -- where there was a bipartisan letter signed by chairman David campaign and send to lament of the committee of the Ways and Means Committee.
And they requested from the White House that documents and information be sent over to them by yesterday.
Now they've not statement apparently decided that I'm gonna send it over at least on a timely fashion.
How troublesome is that to you when do you think this is part of delay tactic.
Well there are three things that are troublesome first of all this White House's attitude is they don't have to give us anything unless it serves their smear and secondly.
Everyone up and down the line if -- political appointees seems to have amnesia.
I think it's sort of Obama and amnesia.
Schumer -- was a good example he he must have said.
I don't remember enough times if I had a nickel for each -- -- could pay off the national debt.
And then the last one and then the -- most troubling one is.
People seem to think they don't know we heard management up and down claiming they didn't know and even if they were briefed.
They didn't remember or it wasn't enough detail for them to know this pattern of irresponsibility.
And lack of administrative attention.
Begs the question of why that we have all these political appointees if they find a way not to know what's going on but take full responsibility for anything good that happens right.
Let me ask you both and I want to set the table for this question.
The White House denying that they had any knowledge of this that they found.
Found out about this through news reports that was their original story by my count there are five now variations and shifting and then changes.
To that story we now know that the president's attorney.
The White House counsel and we know that the chief of staff -- the White House for the president.
Both didn't know earlier than what we were told.
And we discovered that the White House was involved in working with the treasury to -- this story before the IG report.
I wanna get both of your reactions to that congressman Jordan we'll start with you.
Well you're exactly right -- they were so calculating they orchestrated the roll out they orchestrated.
Does that how -- -- break this story to the American people 'cause they knew the IDs report was coming so people at treasury people at the White House people they are asked our.
A year ago two years ago when it was all going on.
132 members of congress inquire about it a 118 visits to the White House numerous news reports nobody knows anything and yet.
What they have to actually present -- -- now -- here.
All their -- and that their plan and there's been and their scheme and how they're gonna do it.
That is again I called the American people say something's not right here because chairman -- -- did they lie when they said.
Those we don't know anything in the White House and now we know that they in fact a -- -- high ranking people did and they helped coordinate those talking points.
Well exactly right they the president doesn't know because apparently he has a pattern of not knowing -- being told anything.
But people in the White House were briefed even by the IG and very very clearly they were part of spinning this ahead of time.
And the IG Russell George actually said that made the way it was done it may be a violation of the law.
While do you think it purposely lied or too early to tell.
They purposely don't wanna know things and if they knew them then they're lying about not wanting to know them we just don't think they could be so dumb as to not know so much.
I think that's a mouthful all right mr.
chairman thank you -- important the American people it is to know that the -- is not out there.
That's intimidating them because of their political views and their associations and very dangerous stuff so thank you -- -- you don't appreciate it thank you thank you got up next.
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