New emails were released today by the House Oversight and Reform Committee, as Chairman Issa builds his case for contempt against IRS’s Louis Lerner,
In e-mails released today by a congressional committee, Lerner wondered why Congress wasn’t getting more criticism, hoped that the Federal Election Commission would “save the day” and wrote that political nonprofit groups “itching for a constitutional challenge” might file a court case that leads the IRS to accelerate the release of specific information about groups denied tax-exempt status.
The e-mails are part of a 141-page report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The panel is building a case designed to lead to a vote to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer the panel’s questions and for providing false and misleading information in prior questioning.
“She led efforts to scrutinize conservative groups while working to maintain a veneer of objective enforcement,” the report said of Lerner. “Her unwillingness to testify deprives Congress the opportunity to have her explain her conduct, hear her response to personal criticisms levied by her IRS coworkers, and provide vital context regarding the actions of other IRS officials.”
Jay Sekulow discussed the latest on Fox News, Tuesday, “I think the most troubling aspect of the emails is that Lois Lerner was clearly cognizant of the fact that this increased scrutiny would result in litigation – which ultimately it has – and when you look at that and what she wrote, she slow tracked these approval processes and reviews because of this concern about litigation and it may challenge their ability to control political speech – which of course is not within the IRS’s purview in the first place.” He added, “it kinda gives you an insight into what she was thinking, what the leadership at the IRS was thinking, as they went through this process of intentionally tracking these non profit applications and slowing them down because of the politics involved…”
He went on to say, “the Supreme Court in all the cases I’ve handled have always been unanimous when it came to viewpoint discrimination – the court just does not tolerate it.”
As for what to do next, Sekulow said, “you can try a Special Prosecutor, but I think we gotta move forward with the Contempt proceedings. She is one of the key, central figures in this – she’s not the only one – but she clearly had an agenda and that agenda was silencing these groups, and she was pretty effective in doing that – she’s just being called on the carpet now because she’s been caught.”