A contempt charge is usually to compel either testimony or the production of documents.
The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.
The House voted 231-187 for a resolution holding Lerner in contempt. All the Republicans voted yes, along with six Democrats.
Lerner’s case will now be sent to the Justice Department, which then must decide whether to essentially prosecute Lerner in the case.
Minutes after the Lerner vote, the House passed a resolution asking the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel to probe the IRS by a vote of 250-168.
House Speaker John Boehner issued a statement following the vote saying, “It’s time for Lois Lerner to account for her actions, and if she won’t then the full force of the law should be brought to bear.”
What happens next? Will the Justice Department decide to prosecute? Congress in 2012 voted to hold Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States, in contempt of Congress for withholding documents related to the gun-running operation “Fast and Furious.” Holder saw his contempt of Congress vote as ‘partisan sport’. Will Holder view the House vote holding Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress as partisan politics and do nothing?
Expect the issue to linger through the election season.
Online: FoxNews: House votes to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress
Vote Details: On Agreeing to the Resolution: H RES 574 Recommending that the House of Representatives find Lois G. Lerner, former Director, Exempt Organizations, Internal Revenue Service, in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform
Less than a day after former IRS official Lois Lerner was found in criminal contempt of Congress, her old agency has agreed to turn over copies of all her emails and other correspondence to one of the Republican-led House committees investigating the scandal that led to her retirement.