- - Monday, April 14, 2014

Despite mounting evidence of collusion between Lois Lerner and Democrats (in both Congress and the executive branch) to silence conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status, Ms. Lerner is well-insulated from being punished for it.

First, it’s inconceivable that Eric H. Holder’s Justice Department will act on any criminal referral of Ms. Lerner’s actions sent to it by Congress.

Second, Justice’s putative investigation of the IRS, headed up by an Obama donor, will be a whitewash. Third, if Ms. Lerner’s pleading of the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination is voided by a grant of immunity, Ms. Lerner can still safely refuse to testify. Fourth, if she does testify, she can aver (whether her testimony is true or not) that the buck stopped with her and that no one else outside the IRS was involved.

This would make moot any further investigation and could effectively kill the scandal. Finally, even if by some unimaginable series of circumstances Ms. Lerner is found guilty of anything, there’s always the impregnable power of the presidential pardon.

Though Ms. Lerner might have some uncomfortable days, that will be the extent of her having to pay for her blatantly partisan abuse of power. She’ll keep her six-figure federal pension and who knows — might even be quietly enlisted by the Clinton campaign to advise Hillary Clinton on how to intimidate and silence political opponents.

Never was the plaintive cry of Bob Dole during the 1996 presidential campaign more apt: “Where’s the outrage?”

BOB FOYS

Chicago