Issa notes that the Committee's position is that Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights by testifying up to a point before invoking her privilege and assures us that they have not given her immunity in exchange for her testimony. Conceivably, she has come to accept that the privilege has been waived and that she needs to testify or be held in contempt.
The Fox News moderator, Chris Wallace, quoted the report by the Republicans on Issa's committee, which said that Lerner "was keenly aware of acute political pressure to crack down on conservative-leaning organizations." Who put this pressure on Lerner?
ISSA: That's one of our questions. She says things like they put pressure. So e-mails indicate that there was pressure. We don't know whether it was the president shaking his fingers at the House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court over Citizens United or whether it was...Shouts? Wallace leaned hard on that. And I put it in boldface. (That's me shouting.) I think it must mean that it was a political project and they were hard at work figuring out how to make it not look like what she knew it was. That's a smoking gun. Here's how Issa put it:
WALLACE: During the State of the Union Address?
ISSA: During the State of the Union, where she felt the pressure. Only she can tell us where she thought that pressure was.
WALLACE: The report also cites a newly discovered e-mail from September 16th, 2010, in which Lerner discusses how to check whether groups seeking tax exempt status are engaged in improper political activity. This is an e-mail to other people in the IRS. And she says, quote, "We need to have a plan. We need to be caution so it isn't a per se political project." What do you think that e-mail shouts?
ISSA: It's a series of e-mails. And when you read them in context, what you realize is she's trying to walk back any kind of ability for someone to look at the record and say, aha, this was political targeting. And, yet, it clearly is political targeting.