The case for immunizing Lois Lerner

Charles Krauthammer has been saying for months that the House should “immunize” Lois Lerner so she will answer questions about the IRS scandal. Now, Andy McCarthy presents a detailed case for doing so.

Lerner, as we all know, has refused to testify before Congress on the grounds that truthfully answering the questions of House investigators might incriminate her. If the House grants her immunity, i.e., promises that her statements will not be used against her in any future prosecution, then her testimony could be compelled.

It’s unlikely that the House will make further headway in its investigation without Lerner’s testimony. It’s possible, though, that it can get Lerner’s testimony without immunizing her, on the theory that she waived the Fifth Amendment by proclaiming her innocence before invoking that protection.

McCarthy argues, and I agree, that it’s not clear how the “waiver” argument will be resolved. It is clear that resolution will take time, during which the investigation will continue to stall.

The case for immunizing Lerner is, therefore, solid. Personally, I doubt that her testimony will be particularly helpful. Even assuming that Lerner has knowledge that would blow the IRS scandal open, as exposed to implicating a few more relatively small fish, I doubt that she would share that knowledge. But one never knows until one tries.