Before you watch the Fox News barking heads yapping over the IRS’ Lois Lerner taking the 5th Amendment before Congress today, consider Greta Van Susteren’s comments to Committee Chairman Darrell Issa last night. Van Susteren is an attorney but I can assure you that Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity – who are not attorneys – will ignore what she said in order to continue banging the drums of their phony IRS scandal.
Van Susteren opened the discussion by suggesting wrongdoing when she announced that the IRS tax-exempt chief was “not going to say ‘boo’” when she testifies before Congress. A banner on the screen read, “TAX-EXEMPT CHIEF: I TAKE THE 5TH!”
Then Van Susteren brought on criminal Congressman Darrell Issa to clutch his pearls about Obama administration wrongdoing. “Thanks for covering this issue and obviously the American people want answers,” he said, with a serious face.
“Well, you’re not gonna get ‘em tomorrow,” Van Susteren said. But then she said something surprising: “You know, I actually – if I were her lawyer, I’d advise her to take the Fifth, too, because there is – the Justice Department’s opened a criminal investigation and… there is a risk that she says something tomorrow.”
Issa replied, “We could say there’s a risk for everybody but the American people had confidence in the IRS, the IRS had a responsibility…” Yes, Issa’s just thinking about the American people. Even though Issa vowed two and a half years ago, when Republicans took over the House of Representatives, that he was chomping at the bit to slow down the Obama administration with investigations.
But, of course, Van Susteren didn’t bring that up. Still, you can expect a lot of finger pointing today over the fact that Lerner took the Fifth and a lot of suggesting that she must be GUILTY of something for having done so.
It would have been more accurate for her to say that the IRS can’t say much until the investigation is over. But that wouldn’t have planted the presumption of guilt, now, would it?