Friday Lightning Round: Lois Lerner contempt vote

Panel sums up this week's hot topics


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," April 11, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R - OH, HOUSE SPEAKER: I don't care who is going to be fired. I want to know who is going to jail. And the fact is that the IRS, there are specific laws that protect taxpayers and force the IRS to comply with the law. Somebody at the IRS violated the law. Whether it was Lois Lerner or not, we will find out.

REP. CHARLIE RANGEL, D - NY: I think today's procedure indicates just how far the Republicans are prepared to do irreparable harm to the legislative process as well as the Constitution.


SHANNON BREAM, ANCHOR: That harm apparently consists of the House Oversight Committee voting to hold Lois Lerner in contempt and also House ways and means committee sending to DOJ their allegation of criminal charges against her.

Charles, that was the Friday Lightning Round winner because it let folks vote online. It was a runaway this week. They want to talk about Lois Lerner.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Charlie Rangel is not precisely the person you want to be the Democratic spokesman on ethics and propriety in Congress. As for Lerner, she ought to be held in contempt. She is contemptible the way she has acted. But unless you give her immunity, you're never going to get the truth. I've been arguing this for a year now. Give her immunity, dare her to lie.

BREAM: Steve, you are furiously taking notes over there.

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD:  When Charles is wrong you have to write down. Look, I think there is argument for giving her immunity, but I think among the things that we saw with release of e-mails this week are the reasons why they were reluctant to do that. I mean, she is clearly a partisan hack. Among her many other things that she wrote and argued an e-mail in which she, in effect, said that she wanted to have the job for Obama for America its successor organization here in Washington, D.C. Now, there has been much discussion about whether that was a joke or not. But her colleagues when they read that thought that she was serious, thought that she might be serious. I think that says a lot about who she was. And given the context that they were indisputable targeting conservative groups at the time she wrote it that makes her look even worse.

BREAM: Next up in our Lightning Round today, a lot of prominent folks, including the president and the attorney general of the United States, dropping in on Al Sharpton's event this week. Let's play a little bit of what the attorney general had to say earlier this week about how he was treated on the Hill.


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: You look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House committee. It had nothing to do with me. What attorney general ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?


HOLDER: What president has ever had it to deal with that kind of treatment?


BREAM: Well, and the president did speak today at the National action Network as well, and his concern was about voting rights. He said that awful these measures passed. He kept pointing out the Republicans, the GOP, voter I.D. measures, stricter voter controls in place. He said they are all chipping away and that voting rights are more in danger now than they have been since the Voting Rights Act was passed. Kirsten, what do you make of this?

KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, USA TODAY: I find that the whining a little unseemly, honestly, having lived through the Clinton years when Republicans accused the Clintons of killing their best friend Vince Foster. So the idea no president has ever been criticized or treated badly before is ahistorical. So, I understand that they feel that they have been mistreated. Look, do I think that Issa has gone a little overboard with Holder and it has gotten very contentious. But, at the same time, he certainly is not the first attorney general, Barack Obama is not the first president to ever deal with this kind of situation.

BREAM: Well, and Charlie Rangel, Charlie's favorite for the day, he also talked about this and said that the president and those who oppose him, you are making a mistake if you don't think there are some ulterior motives. He then talked about the Tea Party. He said they always have Confederate flags and he knows what they're about, Charles.

KRAUTHAMMER: Let me say that I would endorse about what Kirsten would say about his whining. When you consider that Attorney General Mitchell went to jail and his president had to resign and Clinton was impeached, I think that this brings Holder up to the level of world class whiner.

BREAM: Alright -- we will name winners and loser and see if that's also a title that's given out this week. We'll make sure we get to all the winners and losers, Steve. Why don't you kick us off.

HAYES: My winner for this week is Kevin Ollie, the UConn men's head basketball coach, who won the NCAA championship in his first year eligible. This is a guy who played in the NBA for 13 years on 15 different teams, averaged less than four points a game, somebody who strives, somebody who's a hard worker in basketball, and he deserves the recognition he has gotten.

My loser is Vox.com, this new, much ballyhooed website run by Ezra Klein and others that was going to engage in explanatory journalism because most other journalists don't explain things apparently, and was going to remake journalism, puff piece in the New York Times this week. And after a week, after its launch, it's clear that the website founded by left wing ideologues, staffed by left wing ideologues is going to in fact make left wing ideological arguments and contribute virtually nothing.

POWERS: That was my loser, too actually.

BREAM: Make sure we get both of you in.

My loser is Brandeis University for revoking the honorary degree of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is a women's rights advocate, because they are offended by her personal views on her own life experience. My winner is Kathleen Sebelius because she gets to it leave D.C.

BREAM: Oh, Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: My winner of the week are the chimps at the Kansas City Zoo who escaped for two hours. Now, had they -- they were caught and returned so you could say they're losers, but I've become libertarian about primates, and two hours of liberty makes them the winner of the week.

BREAM: Loser?

KRAUTHAMMER: Loser is feminist demagoguery. The 77-cent number on the disparity of sex discrimination has been thoroughly discredit discredited.

BREAM: All right, thank you, panel. Stay tuned to find out how ObamaCare supporters say it succeeded without them ever have to resort to a hard sell.

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