Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), a former federal prosecutor, said Lerner lost her rights the minute she started proclaiming her innocence, and that lawmakers therefore were entitled to question her. But Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland said hearing rules were not like those of a courtroom.
During the incident, Issa did not flat-out say whether or not Lerner had indeed waived her rights but instead tried to coax her into staying by offering to narrow the scope of questions.
By the afternoon, Issa was taking a harder stand. “The precedents are clear that this is not something you can turn on and turn off,” he told POLITICO. “She made testimony after she was sworn in, asserted her innocence in a number of areas, even answered questions asserting that a document was true … So she gave partial testimony and then tried to revoke that.”
May 22, 2013
... by making an opening statement before invoking her Fifth Amendment privilege. She asserted: “I have not done anything wrong.... I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other committee.”