STATEMENT OF CONGRESSMAN DENT:

"Yesterday, I voted to hold Lois G. Lerner, former Director of the Exempt Organizations Department of the Internal Revenue Service, in contempt of Congress. Lois Lerner said she wanted to exercise her 5th Amendment rights and then proceeded to make declarative statements regarding the matter at hand. In my opinion she waived her 5th Amendment rights by doing so. She is the central figure in the targeting of conservative groups based on their political ideology and her testimony should be heard.

I also voted yesterday to call for the appointment of a Special Counsel to conduct an investigation into the specific targeting of conservative groups. It is anti-democratic for tax and law enforcement agencies to give even the slightest appearance of ideological bias. Such actions inspire fear and distrust of the government. I was glad to see that 26 Democrats crossed party lines to support this good-government measure.

Investigating and stopping the targeting of individuals and groups solely because they hold a different political philosophy than an Administration currently in power is exactly why checks and balances are built into our system of government."

###