Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) announced Thursday that he’s filed a resolution aiming to arrest Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the agency’s targeting scandal.
The resolution directs the House Sergeant-At-Arms to arrest Lerner on “charges of contempt of Congress,” according to a press release from Stockman’s office.
“Asking the Justice Department to prosecute Lois Lerner for admittedly illegal activity is a joke. The Obama administration will not prosecute the Obama administration,” Stockman said in the release. “How much longer will the House allow itself to be mocked? It is up to this House to uphold the rule of law and hold accountable those who illegally targeted American citizens for simply having different ideas than the President.”
Republicans are highly suspicious of Lerner, whose missing emails between 2009 and 2011 have only solidified the GOP’s belief that she engaged in foul play in the agency’s alleged targeting of conservative groups.
Lerner’s attorney backtracked this week after initially saying that his client did not keep hard copies of her emails, which would have constituted a violation of federal law. The attorney, William Taylor, said that his original statement – published late last month by Politico — was not “entirely accurate.”
Stockman, a tea party champion and a prolific Twitter troll, indicated that he was emboldened to take action by something House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said “just days ago, on June 20.”
“I could have arrested Karl Rove on any given day,” Pelosi said. “I’m not kidding. There’s a prison here in the Capitol. If we had spotted him in the Capitol, we could have arrested him.”
In fact, Pelosi said that more than two years ago — on June 20, 2012.
Stockman said he doesn’t want to “go as far as Democrats in exercising the House’s powers to arrest.”
To that end, Stockman said Lerner wouldn’t be held in the Capitol prison. Instead, she “will be held in the D.C. jail.”