House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released emails Wednesday afternoon showing that Lois Lerner coordinated with Rep. Elijah Cummings and committee Democrats multiple times between 2012 and 2013, providing them information they requested about True the Vote, the 501(c)(4) voter integrity organization that was singled out for IRS scrutiny (not to mention FBI, ATF, OSHA and EPA-affiliated TCEQ scrutiny.)
Via Eliana Johnson NRO:
In a letter signed by his five subcommittee chairmen, Issa raised the possibility that Cummings coordinated with the IRS, “surreptitiously” contacting the agency to request information about True the Vote.
E-mails unearthed in the course of Issa’s investigation into the IRS’s inappropriate targeting of right-leaning groups show that in January 2013, a member of Cummings’s staff contacted the IRS asking for any publicly available information on True the Vote. The matter was discussed by IRS officials that included Lois Lerner, the former exempt-organizations chief who retired in the wake of the targeting scandal. One of Lerner’s deputies, Holly Paz, subsequently sent the organization’s 990 forms to Cummings and his staff — not an illegal disclosure of taxpayer information, though sources say the exchange of such information was not routine.
The correspondence does not indicate whether the IRS’ scrutiny of True the Vote’s application for tax exemption was prompted by Cummings’s inquiries about the group and the timing of the correspondence suggests it was not, but instead that Cummings may have modeled his inquiries on those the IRS had already made.
The excrement is about to hit the fan – Cummings has been trying to throw a wrench into Issa’s investigation since June of last year when he pronounced the partisan “witch hunt” was “solved.” Now we know why – because he’s in up to his eyeballs colluding with the IRS — WHILE sitting on the investigative Oversight Committee, lying and withholding information. Jim Hoft thinks there could be jail time for Cummings, if the GOP decides to take the gloves off. (They won’t of course.)
Cummings says in response, that “the GOP has falsely accused him of wrongly contacting the IRS about True the Vote.”
Cummings said in the letter that he has publicly stated his interest in finding more about True the Vote, which supports voter ID laws that Cummings opposes.
Cummings said in his letter that his inquiries were appropriate and did not violate any rules. His requests, Cummings added, were for publicly available information.
Cummings said the letter from Issa and others Republicans is “a desperate attempt to shift the focus on tomorrow’s contempt vote away from the serious Constitutional deficiencies in these proceedings.”
I always knew he was full of sh*t.
Expect fireworks Thursday morning when the Government Oversight and Reform committee convenes to vote on holding Lerner in contempt of Congress. The fun begins at 9:00 am Eastern…
Congressman Trey Gowdy went On the Record with Greta Van Sustern to talk about the latest IRS scandal revelations:
After reading lengthy statements from Democrat Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Lerner’s attorney, Reid declared the GOP “Have zeroed in on Lois Lerner, she is going to be the face of their IRS witch hunt and not the White House.” Reid then attempted to minimize the scandal even further:
The bottom line, with health care dissipating as a potent political topic and scant red meat to take home to their Tea Party base over the recess, Republicans are trying to freshen up their favorite faux scandals and conspiracy theories.
Reid’s comments came during an interview with liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank who unsurprisingly mocked the investigation of Ms. Lerner:
This was a classic case, the Ways and Means hearing, which I was at this morning. First of all, they are saying explicitly they think the person responsible for this wrong doing was Lois Lerner, not part of a culture of corruption in the White House but, in fact, a career employee at the IRS. So leaving aside that means basically the entire investigation fizzled in its attempt to find a skullduggery within the White House.
Reid then proceeded to declare the House investigation a “circus” before attempting to dismiss all of the offenses leveled against Lerner:
Used her position to improperly influence agency action against only conservative organizations, which of course is factually not true. Impeded official investigations by providing misleading statements. Risked exposing and may have actually disclosed, confidential taxpayer information. But again, none of that gets to what Darrell Issa promised his Republican base, which is that he was going to locate this conspiracy in the Nixonian White House and he didn’t do it. And he very demonstrably not doing it.
Reid brought Milbank on for the sole purpose of having a liberal voice to slap down the GOP, primarily Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA): “Over in the Oversight Committee it’s just about a contempt vote that everybody knows is going nowhere.”
It would be funny if I didn’t know they actually have an audience weapons grade stupid enough to buy their “ratchet” snake-oil.
Catherine Engelbrecht appeared on the Kelly File to talk about her testimony before Congress back in February and her formal ethics complaint against Cummings.
Powerline: CLETA ON THE CUMMINGS CASE