WASHINGTON, May 23 (UPI) -- The Internal Revenue Service Thursday put Lois Lerner on administrative leave one day after she refused to testify before a U.S. House committee, NBC reported.
Lerner, the IRS official who disclosed the targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status for closer scrutiny, invoked her right against self-incrimination in an appearance Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Though she did not testify, she made a statement denying any wrongdoing -- something Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said nullified her Fifth Amendment rights.
Her refusal to testify prompted Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz., to send a letter to acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel requesting Lerner's suspension for refusing to provide information to their Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Roll Call reported.
"Given the serious failure by Ms. Lerner to disclose to this Subcommittee key information on topics that the Subcommittee was investigating, we have lost confidence in her ability to fulfill her duties as Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS," Levin and McCain wrote.
NBC quoted sources in reporting Lerner's suspension.