Lois Lerner hides IRS regulatory discussions in her private email account
House Republicans on Tuesday asked an IRS official at the center of their probe into the agency targeting Tea Party groups for documents related to her personal email account, after learning she allegedly used the account for official business.
The request from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to official Lois Lerner states she sent documents related to her official duties from her IRS email account to an account labeled ‘Lois Home.’
“This raises some serious questions,” wrote committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. “To understand the extent to which you may have used a non-official email account for official purposes, … we request that you produce all documents and communications housed in your msn.com account.”
Issa suggested such activity could violate federal records requirements, creates difficulties in filing Freedom of Information Act requests and “frustrates congressional oversight obligations.” . . .A tough op-ed about the IRS abuse of power is provided here by Senator Rob Portman.
Now an IRS whistle-blower has confirmed what many had suspected but could not prove — the misconduct involved not only Ms. Lerner and the Washington office generally, but specifically included the IRS chief counsel, one of only two Obama political appointees in the entire agency. Several news outlets have now reported that the chief counsel may have met with the president at the White House on April 23, 2012, just two days before the IRS issued a revised set of “be on the lookout” instructions to IRS agents reviewing tax-exempt applications that appear to target Tea Party groups for more stringent review. Perhaps most troubling, the White House’s timeline of events — who knew what and when — has changed repeatedly since news of improper targeting first became public.
And the scope of the scandal is growing. Just a few days ago,congressional investigators released emails suggesting that staff at the Federal Election Commission were engaged in conservative targeting of their own, perhaps with improper help from Ms. Lerner and the IRS. Now evidence is mounting that one of the most powerful agencies of the federal government — the Securities and Exchange Commission — has also engaged in political targeting. In a letter to the chairwoman of the SEC, congressional leaders revealed that documents produced for the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform “indicate that the SEC has been under immense pressure from elected officials and special interest groups as part of a government-wide effort to stifle political speech.”
With each new revelation we discover more incompetence, and more examples of politicized enforcement of the law — all enemies of good governance. . . .