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April 10, 2014

House Panel Votes on Party Lines for Lerner Prosecution

The House Ways and Means Committee voted Wednesday to refer former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution for her alleged role in targeting political nonprofit groups for IRS scrutiny, reports The Washington Post.

The closed-door vote split along party lines. Members of the Republican majority contend Ms. Lerner, who led the IRS nonprofits division when the scandal broke last year, directed agency efforts to hinder conservative groups, misled investigators, and exposed confidential taxpayer information.

Her attorney, William Taylor, said Justice is already investigating the targeting case and called Wednesday's vote "just another attempt by Republicans to vilify Ms. Lerner for political gain."

Ms. Lerner, who retired from the IRS in September, has twice declined to answer questions at congressional hearings, invoking her Fifth Amendment privilege. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on a resolution to hold Ms. Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify.