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By a vote of 231 to 187, the House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to hold former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for not cooperating with an investigation into the agency's targeting of specific organizations.
Last year, Lerner admitted during an American Bar Association conference that the IRS singled out certain groups, including those with "tea party" in their names, the Washington Post says. A Justice Department investigation was held, and Lerner was called to testify at hearings on Capitol Hill, where she invoked her Fifth Amendment right. She last appeared before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in March, and again invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The contempt resolution was approved on a party-line vote in April by the Oversight panel, which then passed it on to the full House, the Post reports. The matter is being sent to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and then given to a grand jury for review. If Lerner is convicted, she could face up to one year in jail, and a fine of $100,000. The House Ways and Means Committee, in another party-line vote, agreed to request criminal prosecution of Lerner for misleading investigators and revealing private taxpayer information. Her attorney, William Taylor, is adamant that his client has not done anything illegal.