Odds are solid that former IRS senior executive Lois Lerner will never appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to spill the beans on the IRS scandal. Webb Hubbell would be impressed.
But Hubbell never talked after his conviction or while serving 21 months in a federal prison. He didn't talk after two further indictments, one that was thrown out and another that was plea-bargained.
Like the faithful "good soldier" of the Mafia inner circle who refuses to squeal because he knows there will be a reward at the end of his sentence for his silence, Hubbell kept his mouth shut about Hillary's law firm dealings, Whitewater, Bill Clinton's infidelity, everything.
Lerner won't squeal
There is an interesting parallel between Hubbell and Lerner. Rep. Darrell Issa, the oversight panel's chairman, issued another invitation this week to Lerner to return to testify before the committee about her role in the targeting and harassment of Tea Party and conservative non-profit groups seeking tax-exemption.
In her lone prior appearance before the panel, Lerner proclaimed her innocence in a brief opening statement, then took the Fifth Amendment. The panel's GOP majority say she waived her Fifth Amendment right when she claimed to have done nothing wrong.
Lerner recently offered through her attorney to testify if she was given a grant of immunity. Her attorney even provided a proffer describing the essence of her promised testimony, then subsequently claimed not to have heard back from the committee.
Tight as a drum
But the proffer talks went nowhere because the description of what Lerner would say if she received the grant of immunity broke no new ground, according to panel sources. The bottom line is that witnesses who don't provide critical new evidence don't get immunity.
Even so, Lerner is still trapped. On the one hand, she was deeply involved in it and was the first IRS official to admit the agency's targeting and harassment. On the other, how can somebody claim innocence while demanding immunity from criminal prosecution?
The only way out of the trap is for Lerner to give up somebody important higher-up. That path may lead straight to the Obama White House. There is no reason to think she will do that, based on her professional history. Look for her to follow the Hubbell example.
On today's washingtonexaminer.com
Watchdog/Mark Flatten: Top VA official disputes Examiner's "scurrilous" report of mass purge of medical appointments.
Columnist/Cal Thomas: GOP may benefit from Cruz control in 2014.
Columnist/Michael Barone: Protesters in Ukraine, Venezuela want the rule of law.
Columnist/David Freddoso: Larouche-allied Senate candidate gives Texas Democrats the wrong kind of blues.
Beltway Confidential/Philip Klein: Dave Camp tax reform proposal has flaws, but is a step toward a more substantial debate.
PennAve/Susan Crabtree: Conservative USC alums fight on over FCC newsroom study.
Legal Newsline/David Yates: Texas voters oppose state's chief justice after learning of his record, poll says.
In other news
The New York Times: Gunmen seize government buildings in eastern Ukraine.
The Washington Post: New GOP tax plan would drop rates, popular deductions.
New York Daily News: Massive 82 percent of Democrats want Hillary Clinton to seek White House, poll says.
CBS News: Ousted Ukrainian leader said to be in Russia.
Washington Free Beacon: EPA officials obstructed IG's fraud investigation.
The Daily Caller: "Sounding presidential," Joe Scarborough speaks in South Carolina.
The American Thinker: Obama's minimum wage ruse.
The Nation: Where have all the lobbyists gone?
Mother Jones: The town Los Angeles drank.
The Lid: John Kerry, Flat-earther.
Legal Insurrection: KC cop shoots attacker while being beaten.
Talking Points Memo: New GOP tax plan will tax the (blue state) rich.
Wonkette: Jan Brewer being uncrazy again.