Former IRS official referred to the Tea Party cases as “very dangerous” and expected legal action because they were “itching for a constitutional challenge.”
WASHINGTON – A House committee report claims Lois Lerner, who oversaw the Internal Revenue Service’s scrutiny of tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status, lied to Congress about her involvement in the targeting scandal.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report Tuesday concluding that Lerner “created unprecedented roadblocks for Tea Party organizations” and “worked surreptitiously to advance new Obama administration regulations that curtail the activities of existing 501(c)(4) organizations.”
In 2011, Lerner directed the manager of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Technical Unit to subject Tea Party cases to a “multi-tier review” system. She also stated in an email to her staff that the IRS Cincinnati office “should probably not have these cases.”
In one email, Lerner referred to the Tea Party cases as “very dangerous” and suggested the Chief Counsel’s office should be involved in the review process.
In another email, Lerner forwarded an article to Nanette Downing, director of exempt-organization examinations, from the liberal news site Mother Jones about how “dark money” was being used to influence the political process.
The report accuses Lerner of seeking to “convey her agreement with this sentiment publicly” and engaging “in a wholly inappropriate effort to circumvent federal prohibitions in order to publicize her efforts to crack down on a particular Tea Party applicant.”
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