News broke Wednesday that former IRS official Lois Lerner had been in contact with the Department of Justice about criminally prosecuting tax-exempt groups not two days before admitting to unfairly scrutinizing conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. Unsurprisingly, members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have had a lot to say about the revelation:
One committee member said the emails prove why the IRS is “scared to give up the rest of Lois Lerner’s emails.” IRS commissioner John Koskinen was recently threatened with contempt for stonewalling the committee’s investigation. Koskinen claimed in a hearing that it could take years to provide the documents requested by Oversight.
“The release of new documents underscores the political nature of IRS Tea Party targeting and the extent to which supposed apolitical officials took direction from elected Democrats,” Oversight chairman Rep. Darrell Issa said in a statement. “These e-mails are part of an overwhelming body of evidence that political pressure from prominent Democrats led to the targeting of Americans for their political beliefs.”
“Now I see why the IRS is scared to give up the rest of Lois Lerner’s emails,” said Oversight Economic Growth subcommittee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan.
“Not only do these e-mails further prove the coordination among the IRS, the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the Justice Department and committee Democrats to target conservatives, they also show that had our committee not requested the Inspector General’s investigation when we did, Eric Holder’s politicized Justice Department would likely have been leveling trumped up criminal charges against Tea Party groups to intimidate them from exercising their Constitutional rights,” Jordan said.
It’s clearer than ever that Lerner must be made to testify. She’s nearly been caught red-handed; she just hasn’t admitted it yet.