IRS hearings are beginning to feel a lot like Watergate


Lois Lerner, IRS official in charge of targeting, will plead 5th amendment at IRS hearings.This is how Watergate began. Explanations begin to crack. Stories change. Those involved start stonewalling.

It’s also important to remember that the IRS Inspector General’s report is what broke the story. The internal investigation by the IRS Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration was not interfered with and was quite thorough. So in one very real sense the system worked and worked well.

My personal opinion is a combination of hugely overworked and under-trained low level employees in Cincinnati and improper targeting of nonprofits created a crisis during the 2012 elections which high level IRS and White House officials successfully dropkicked until after the elections. Then the Inspector General released the report and now some previous explantions of what happened have become, in that memorable Watergate phrase “inoperative.”


The IRS official in charge of the division accused of improperly targeting conservative groups will invoke her Fifth Amendment rights against compelled self-incrimination at a committee hearing Wednesday, a sign of concern that the political controversy is heading into the criminal arena.