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IRS official Lerner placed on leave

Lois Lerner, the IRS official who oversees the agency’s division in charge of tax-exempt organizations, has been placed on administrative leave, a source told NBC News on Thursday. The IRS has selected Ken Corbin as acting director during Lerner's absence.

IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner addresses a House committee during a hearing on the agency's targeting of political groups.

Lerner, whose responsibility for the targeting of conservative groups at the IRS has become a point of scrutiny in the controversy, had come under bipartisan fire. Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz., wrote acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel earlier on Thursday seeking Lerner’s suspension.

Lerner had appeared before a House committee on Wednesday, but invoked her Fifth Amendment rights, and declined to testify. She offered a broad declaration denying any wrongdoing, however, which has prompted some Republicans to conclude she had effectively waived her Fifth Amendment rights. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who heads the oversight panel before which Lerner appeared, suggested Thursday he’ll seek to recall her as a witness.

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