IRS official Lerner refuses to testify before Congress

Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner, who leads the exempt organizations division under scrutiny for targeting conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status, is refusing to testify before Congress, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lerner was supposed to appear before the House Oversight Committee Wednesday.

The Times reports that Lerner's attorney, William W. Taylor III, sent a letter to the committee chairman saying she would plead the Fifth:

“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” said a letter by Taylor to committee Chairman Darrell Issa. ... The letter, sent Monday, was obtained Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times.

Issa, a California Republican, has issued a subpoena, compelling her presence at Wednesday's hearing.