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House Holds Lois Lerner in Contempt Over IRS Scandal

By Emma Dumain and JM Rieger

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The House voted Wednesday to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress and to instruct the Justice Department to probe her for criminal charges. The actions mark the culmination of two simultaneous committee investigations into allegations that Lerner knowingly presided over the improper targeting of conservative outside groups seeking tax-exempt status with the agency, including stalling the application process and giving special scrutiny to organizations that appeared to be affiliated with the tea party movement. One resolution (H Res 574), agreed to on a 231-187 vote, will make Lerner the sixth public official since 1982 to be held in contempt for her refusal to testify before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Lerner cited her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent in an appearance last year.

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