Rep. DeSantis on vote to hold Lerner in contempt

Florida lawmaker speaks out


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 10, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: In the meantime, we have got Florida Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis. He sits on this oversight committee, voted to hold Ms. Lerner in contempt.

Congressman, what happens now? She can just choose, I guess, as she has all other prior times, to ignore you guys, right?

REP. RON DESANTIS, R-FLA.: Well, she can. This is going to the full House, as Chad mentioned.

And I anticipate that the House will concur with what the committee did. But the members are going to have to make their decisions. At the end of the day, what Lois Lerner tried to do was, she tried to come before the committee, make all these factual statements that were exculpating herself from any wrongdoing, and then hiding behind the Fifth Amendment, so she didn't have to answer any questions.

And that's just not the way it works. I mean, when I was a prosecutor, a defendant had to make the decision. If they got on that witness stand, I got the crack at them. And so she was too cute by half, and I think the committee did the right thing today.

CAVUTO: Why now, though, Congressman? I mean, it's been almost a year since she pled the Fifth. So, were -- were you guys working on a deal with her, an immunity deal, an immunity deal involving people who once worked with her, for her, above her? I have no idea.

But it just seems like out of the blue, you decide, all right, now we're -- now we're going to do this contempt thing, and it just seems you must have been doing something in the interim. What was it?

DESANTIS: Well, I think there was.

And some of that is the chairman of the committee's prerogative. But we have been trying to get information, and the IRS typically stonewalls us. And so we ask for information. They stonewall. Then we will actually subpoena it.

And then had John Koskinen in, the IRS commissioner, testify a couple weeks in front of that committee that, oh, well, getting Lois Lerner's e-mails and some of the things we asked for would take a couple years. Well, that's clearly unacceptable. So, some of those things are just decisions of the committee leadership. But some of those things are a reflection of the fact the administration has not been willing to give us the information we wanted in a timely fashion.

CAVUTO: But you mentioned -- I'm sorry, Congressman. You mentioned the committee leadership.

Do you know whether the committee or the leadership was trying to work out a deal, an immunity or otherwise, with Ms. Lerner or anyone else, and it just fell through?

DESANTIS: I think that they did expect her to actually testify, and I think that there was a change of heart amongst Ms. Lerner's attorney and her.

CAVUTO: I see.

DESANTIS: And I don't really know the details of that. But I think the was an attempt to try to get -- because, ultimately, we want to get the facts for the American people. That's the most important thing.

And then we do want to hold people accountable who committed wrongdoing.

CAVUTO: Congressman, thank you very, very much.

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