New evidence on Lerner leads to new criminal referral

The House Ways and Means Committee, the powerful tax-writing committee, has issued a criminal referral on Lois Lerner to Eric Holder’s Justice Department. The evidence it cites is damning, and Holder would face a difficult task claiming racism is at the root of it. The Wall Street Journal’s Review & Outlook column explains the case:

The most troubling new evidence are documents showing that Ms. Lerner actively corresponded with liberal campaign-finance groups Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center, which had asked the IRS to investigate if conservative groups including Crossroads GPS were violating their tax-exempt status. After personally meeting with the two liberal outfits, Ms. Lerner contacted the director of the Exempt Organizations Examinations Unit in Dallas to ask why Crossroads had not been audited.

"You should know that we are working on a denial of the application," Ms. Lerner wrote in an email. "Please make sure all moves regarding the org are coordinated up here before we do anything." The Cincinnati agent assigned to the case at the time, Joseph Herr, noted on his timesheet, "[b]ased on conference, begin reviewing case information, tax law and draft/template advocacy denial letter, all to think about how best to compose the denial letter."

This looks to me like a smoking gun. Especially considering:

Mr. Herr had not made any indications in 2012 of an intent to deny the application, nor was any denial recommendation contained in the November 2011 analysis of the group by Exempt Organizations lawyer Hillary Goehausen. Crossroads GPS, which was cofounded by Journal contributor Karl Rove, says it applied for tax-exempt status in 2010 but still hasn't received formal IRS approval.

Lerner apparently has a problem with the truth:

The new documents also suggest that Ms. Lerner was evasive in her answers when Treasury's Inspector General (Tigta) began investigating complaints of conservative targeting, She told Tigta she didn't learn about the use of tea-party keywords to choose groups for extra review until June 2011, but emails show Ms. Lerner was told about the tea-party cases under review in April and May 2010, only weeks after the process started.

Keep the pressure up on Lorner and Holder. They do not occupy then high ground.

The House Ways and Means Committee, the powerful tax-writing committee, has issued a criminal referral on Lois Lerner to Eric Holder’s Justice Department. The evidence it cites is damning, and Holder would face a difficult task claiming racism is at the root of it. The Wall Street Journal’s Review & Outlook column explains the case:

The most troubling new evidence are documents showing that Ms. Lerner actively corresponded with liberal campaign-finance groups Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center, which had asked the IRS to investigate if conservative groups including Crossroads GPS were violating their tax-exempt status. After personally meeting with the two liberal outfits, Ms. Lerner contacted the director of the Exempt Organizations Examinations Unit in Dallas to ask why Crossroads had not been audited.

"You should know that we are working on a denial of the application," Ms. Lerner wrote in an email. "Please make sure all moves regarding the org are coordinated up here before we do anything." The Cincinnati agent assigned to the case at the time, Joseph Herr, noted on his timesheet, "[b]ased on conference, begin reviewing case information, tax law and draft/template advocacy denial letter, all to think about how best to compose the denial letter."

This looks to me like a smoking gun. Especially considering:

Mr. Herr had not made any indications in 2012 of an intent to deny the application, nor was any denial recommendation contained in the November 2011 analysis of the group by Exempt Organizations lawyer Hillary Goehausen. Crossroads GPS, which was cofounded by Journal contributor Karl Rove, says it applied for tax-exempt status in 2010 but still hasn't received formal IRS approval.

Lerner apparently has a problem with the truth:

The new documents also suggest that Ms. Lerner was evasive in her answers when Treasury's Inspector General (Tigta) began investigating complaints of conservative targeting, She told Tigta she didn't learn about the use of tea-party keywords to choose groups for extra review until June 2011, but emails show Ms. Lerner was told about the tea-party cases under review in April and May 2010, only weeks after the process started.

Keep the pressure up on Lorner and Holder. They do not occupy then high ground.

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