IRS Official Caught Up in Web of Lies Will Plead the Fifth Before Congress

Outgoing IRS Commissioner Steven Miller testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on May 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Richard Simon and Joseph Tanfani scoop that Lois Lener, current head of the IRS’s tax-exempt division, “won’t answer questions about what she knew about the improper screening – or why she didn’t reveal it to Congress” whens he finally faces the inquisitors. She’s pleading the Fifth, which is one of the nice privileges granted to people who screw up so badly that the FBI opens an investigation into their work.

We may look back at this decision, coupled with the Friday grilling of outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller, as the event that re-centered the IRS scandal on the IRS. There’s still an effort, sure, to pin down the timeline of which official in the White House knew what when from who, but at the end of every line of questioning, like gold at the end of the rainbow, you find an apologetic IRS that takes the blame for screwing this up.