ANDREW MCCARTHY:  Why Lois Lerner Should Be Granted Immunity:

When officials prove unfit for government power, taking that power away is the highest public interest. Even if you’ve deluded yourself into thinking the Obama Justice Department would lift a finger to prosecute Lois Lerner, who cares if she ever sees the inside of a jail cell? What matters is laying bare the entirety of the scheme and finding out how high it goes: Who and what induced her to orchestrate the harassment of conservative groups? Why was the government’s fearsome tax agency placed in the service of the Democratic party’s political needs?

To get the answers to those questions, you need Ms. Lerner to testify. Instead, the House has wasted a full year chewing over a tough legal issue that, even if it were ultimately resolved in the Oversight Committee’s favor, would not get her any closer to answering questions — at least not for a long time….

If the House really wants to get to the bottom of the IRS abuses, it is long past time to immunize Lerner. Let’s find out what she knows and advance the public’s knowledge of the facts. It will then be possible to determine which, if any, higher-ranking officials in the Obama administration were involved: Were they active participants? Nod-and-a-wink approvers? Unknowing, incidental beneficiaries of the inability of conservative groups to organize effectively?

As things stand right now, the congressional investigation is going nowhere. There is also good reason to doubt that it will ever go anywhere unless it is assigned to a select committee. This week’s contempt drama does not hide these stubborn facts.

Beats appointing a special prosecutor.