The House of Representatives voted to hold Lerner in contempt following her refusals on two occasions to answer questions about her role in the IRS targeting of conservative and Tea Party non-profit applicants for illegal harassment.
John Boehner incorrectly cited history Sunday during a Fox News Sunday interview while rejecting any thoughts of having Lois Lerner arrested under a congressional contempt order; “I’m not sure we want to go down that path,” Boehner said, “It’s never been used. I’m not sure that it’s an appropriate way to go about this.”
Congress does have the authority to jail individuals cited for contempt and did so as recently as 1935, according to a 2012 Congressional Research Service report. “In comparison with the other types of contempt proceedings, inherent contempt has the distinction of not requiring the cooperation or assistance of either the executive or judicial branches. The House or Senate can, on its own, conduct summary proceedings and cite the offender for contempt,” the CRS report said.