In a large-scale document dump, the IRS handed over thousands of emails from Lois Lerner, the key figure in the ongoing investigation of the IRS’s targeting of conservative Tea Party groups. The documents, obtained by multiple news organizations and the committees investigating the matter, appeared to show that Lerner intended to target Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In a statement released by Republican Congressman David Camp, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee:
“We have seen a lot of unbelievable things in this investigation, but the fact that Lois Lerner attempted to initiate an apparently baseless IRS examination against a sitting Republican United States Senator is shocking,” said Camp. “At every turn, Lerner was using the IRS as a tool for political purposes in defiance of taxpayer rights. We may never know the full extent of the abuse since the IRS conveniently lost two years of Lerner emails, not to mention those of other key figures in this scandal. The fact that DOJ refuses to investigate the IRS’s abuses or appoint a special counsel demonstrates, yet again, this Administration’s unwillingness to uphold the rule of law.”
The emails are available online here, and in one email Lerner says:
Looked like they were inappropriately offering to pay for his wife. Perhaps we should refer to Exam?
That sentence, one of the most terrifying that a United States citizen can hear coming from a federal government official, is one in a pattern that has been developing since the beginning of this investigation: Lerner’s seemingly zealous inspection into all conservative groups and efforts to help liberal groups targeting conservatives. The agency has even worked with friendly members of Congress like Elijah Cummings to coordinate attacks against Tea Party groups like True the Vote. How Cummings is still on the committee and not facing ethics charges in beyond me.
The most telling aspect of the documents that were released is the tagline at the bottom of the email. It very clearly says, “Sent from BlackBerry Wireless Handheld.” This is possibly a new angle. Because of yesterday’s court ruling on cell phone privacy, Congress would have to get a court order to search Lerner’s cell phone. But with all the evidence mounting against her, the case should be obvious. Search her BlackBerry—unless another mysterious crash happens, like her phone exploding into a million pieces.
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