William Taylor’s Request to Defend Lois Lerner on the House Floor

Guidance from FNC Producer Chad Pergram-Capitol Hill:

William Taylor, counsel to former IRS employee Lois Lerner at the center of the political targeting scandal, made an usual request to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) yesterday: allow him to speak on the House floor and defend his client against a pending contempt of Congress resolution.

Such a request is highly unusual. In fact, one well-placed Congressional source tells Fox News that if the House GOP leadership did want to hear from Taylor, they would counsel the leadership to do it when the House was out of session. Kind of like a “classified briefing” and do it in HC-5 in the basement of the Capitol or the Congressional auditorium.

Typically, remarks on the House floor are reserved for Members only. The exceptions are when the president comes to deliver his State of the Union address during a Joint Session and when other heads of state come for a similar Joint Meeting.

Forty-eight heads of state have addressed Congress. There only have been a few exceptions for non-heads of state to address the House. Such was the case when Lech Walesa spoke in 1989 BEFORE he became the Polish leader. Same with Nelson Mandela in 1990, before he became leader of South Africa.

Six sets of astronauts have spoken before Congress.

The most-notable “non-member” was Gen. Douglas MacArthur who gave his farewell address to Congress in 1951 after he was fired by President Harry Truman.

Such a request by Taylor is nearly unprecedented. There are special circumstances when the House considers disputed elections (such was the case in 1984 over an Indiana House seat). But almost no vehicle permits for the type of give and take which Taylor is requesting.

Interestingly, the forum closest to what Taylor is requesting is how the Senate treated the impeachment of President Clinton in 1999. There, the Senate permitted House “managers” (House members) to present the impeachment charges (adopted by the House) to the Senate during the Senate trial. Defending Clinton was White House Counsel Charles Ruff as well as other attorneys Cheryl Mills, David Kendall, Bruce Lindsey, Nicole Seligman, Lanny Breuer and Greg Craig. All were permitted to speak on the Senate floor as though they were defending a client during a trial in a conventional courtroom.

In short, what Taylor is asking for is unique, extra-parliamentary and House leaders don’t seem willing to give him any special forum in which to make his case to defend Lois Lerner. 

New IRS video surfaces, this time spoofing "The Apprentice"

The House Ways and Means Committee has unearthed another IRS video, along the lines of the Star Trek "Mr. Spock" training video which was released some months ago.

This video spoofs Donald Trump and "The Apprentice." It was used for an IRS conference in 2011, cost nearly $10,000 and features Ferris Fink.

Your Questions Answered: IRS, Eric Holder, Jana Winter & ..Prancercise!

UPDATE: On June 12, a New York appellate judge will hear oral arguments from Winter’s lawyers and lawyers for the defendant James Holmes. Winter remains under subpoena and is ordered to return to Colorado court on August 19. 

Breaking: Reports that Lois Lerner Placed on Administrative Leave

The National Review Online is reporting that IRS Official Lois Lerner has been placed on administrative leave..more tonight on Special Report as we follow this breaking news.

IRS Source: Lerner Placed On Administrative Leave

By  Eliana Johnson
May 23, 2013 4:47 PM

Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service’s director of exempt organizations, has been placed on administrative leave, according to a source in the agency’s Cincinnati office.

Lerner on Thursday afternoon sent an e-mail to employees in the exempt organizations division she oversees stating, “Due to the events of recent days, I am on administrative leave starting today. An announcement will be made shortly informing you who will be acting while I am on administrative leave. I know all of you will continue to support EO’s mission during these difficult times.” She concluded, “I thank you for all your hard work and dedication,” adding, “The work you do is important.”

At a House Oversight Committee hearing yesterday, Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right and refused to answer questions posed to her by lawmakers, stating only, “I did nothing wrong.” She has been at the center of the scandal roiling the IRS and the Obama administration since she clumsily planted the question that allowed her to reveal — and apologize for — the agency’s improper targeting of tea party and other conservative groups. 


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