IRS official Lerner to take 5th at hearing

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Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 4:44 pm | Updated: 12:08 pm, Thu May 23, 2013.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key figure in the Internal Revenue Service controversy plans to invoke her constitutional right not to testify at a congressional hearing on Wednesday.

Lois Lerner is the director of the IRS division that handles applications for tax exempt status. That division was responsible for giving extra scrutiny to tea party and other conservative groups seeking tax exempt status.

In a letter addressed to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, Lerner's lawyer says his client has "not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course." He cites an ongoing Justice Department investigation.

Lerner was scheduled to testify to the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

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