Lois Lerner Email: IRS Official Looked to Audit Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) … Or Could It Have Been the The Non-Profit Org Who Issued the Invitation?
AGENTS AGENCY …
House Ways and Means Committee investigators have uncovered emails from former IRS official Lois “I plead the 5th” Lerner that sought to audit Republican Senator Charles Grassley. Grassley said. “It’s very troubling that a simple clerical mix-up could get a taxpayer immediately referred for an IRS exam without any due diligence from agency officials.” Actually, what might be even more troubling is that the head of the IRS nonprofit department did not know the guidelines or law, but wanted to presume guilty first.
House Ways and Means Press Release: REVEALED: GOP Senator Targeted by Lerner: Ways and Means investigation uncovers push to audit Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) announced the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) targeting of conservative individuals includes a sitting United States Senator. According to emails reviewed by the Committee under its Section 6103 authority, which allows the Committee to review confidential taxpayer information, Lois Lerner sought to have Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) referred for IRS examination.
“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.”
Congressional investigators say they uncovered emails Wednesday showing that a former Internal Revenue Service official at the heart of the tea party investigation sought an audit involving a Republican senator in 2012.
The emails show former IRS official Lois Lerner mistakenly received an invitation to an event that was meant to go to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
The event organizer apparently offered to pay for Grassley’s wife to attend the event. In an email to another IRS official, Lerner suggests referring the matter for an audit, saying it might be inappropriate for the group to pay for his wife.
“Perhaps we should refer to exam?” Lerner wrote.
It was unclear from the emails whether Lerner was suggesting that Grassley or the group be audited — or both.
The other IRS official, Matthew Giuliano, waved her off, saying an audit would be premature because Grassley hadn’t even accepted the invitation.
“It would be Grassley who would need to report the income,” Giuliano said.
Powerline brings up an interesting interpretation of the emails that could very well be plausible as well. After all, Lois Lerner has been accused of targeting conservative non-profit and Tea Party groups.
JOHN adds: I don’t think Lerner meant to have Grassley investigated, but rather the nonprofit organization that issued the speaking invitation. It is helpful to see the emails. This is the one Lois Lerner sent after mistakenly receiving the invitation that was directed to Senator Grassley.
Note that Lerner doesn’t seem to know much about tax law. There is nothing “inappropriate” about the group that sponsored the seminar offering to pay Mrs. Grassley’s way. But when Lerner suggests that the matter should be “refer[red] to Exam,” I think she is pretty clearly talking about the section of the IRS for which she has responsibility, i.e., nonprofit organizations. The inappropriateness, if any, would be on the part of the organization, not Grassley.
In any event, not a smidgen of corruption.