House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) believes that the official in charge of the exempt division at the Internal Revenue Service waived her right to invoke the Fifth Amendment when she delivered an opening statement declaring her innocence at a congressional hearing Wednesday, intending to recall her back to testify once more.
“When I asked her her questions from the very beginning, I did so so she could assert her rights prior to any statement,” Issa told Politico. “She chose not to do so — so she waived.”
In her opening statement, Lois Lerner claimed that she did not violate any laws before invoking the Fifth Amendment. Issa accepted her position and excused her, "subject to recall after we seek civic counsel."
"While I would very much like to answer the committee's questions today," Lerner said, "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. After very careful consideration, I've decided to follow my counsel's advice and not testify or answer any of the questions today."