Recovered Lerner email shows IRS tried to cover up targeting conservative groups
In other news, Cecil the Lion is still dead.
Oh, wait...is there no interest in a story that reveals that an IRS flunkie in the Cincinnati office inadvertently revealed how the IRS was covering up the deliberate targeting of conservative groups?
Nothing to see here...move along. Oh, look! Transgender!
“This material shows that the IRS‘ cover-up began years ago,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. “We now have smoking-gun proof that top officials in the Obama IRS unlawfully harassed taxpayers just to keep them from complaining to Congress about IRS‘ targeting and abuse. No wonder the Obama IRS has had such little interest in preserving or finding Lois Lerner’s emails.”
The Lerner emails have become almost as big a scandal as the initial targeting. Ms. Lerner, who was head of the division that scrutinized the tea party applications until she retired while under investigation in 2013, suffered a computer hard drive crash that cost potentially thousands of emails that should have been part of the record.
The IRS took routine steps to try to recover the emails but reported that it was unable to do so.
But the agency’s independent inspector general said it was able to find the messages easily on backup tapes stored at remote locations — and that the IRS never bothered to look for those tapes, even as it was tellingCongress that all possible routes for message recovery had been exhausted.
According to the new emails, Ms. Lerner and her colleagues were aware of the growing outcry among nonprofit groups that they were being delayed.
In one Nov. 3, 2011, exchange between Ms. Lerner and Cindy Thomas, a program manager in the Cincinnati office that was handling the cases and was involved in a back-and-forth with Washington, the IRS admitted to having hundreds of cases stacked up and awaiting action.
Afraid of congressional pressure, Ms. Thomas ordered one of the inquiry letters to be sent, just to prevent one of the organizations being held up from complaining.
“Just today, I instructed one of my managers to get an additional information letter out to one of these organizations — if nothing else to buy time so he didn’t contact his Congressional Office,” she wrote in the email released by Judicial Watch.
Ms. Thomas said she feared a judge would get involved soon and order the IRS to move the applications more quickly.
That email exchange did confirm that IRS employees in Washington were deeply involved in making decisions about the nonprofit groups’ cases.
The IRS initially blamed the Cincinnati office for the glitch.
Judicial Watch has the IRS dead to rights, with abundant proof that the agency slow-walked conservative applications for nonprofit status and tried to cover it up by attempting to intimidate individuals and keep them from contacting their congressmen. It doesn't get any more outrageous than that.
At least, to us. Meanwhile, our intrepid heroes at the Justice Department can't quite seem to bestir themselves and arrest anyone for anything. Last we heard, they were "investigating" the matter.
I guess they'll get back to us on that, then.