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Lerner Covers Her Tracks


May 11, 2013
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By Eliana Johnson

Daming evidence against Lois Lerner and other top IRS officials continues to mount. We learned Tuesday that Lerner used a personal e-mail account to conduct official business, an act that has the potential to frustrate both Congress’s requests for documents and the public’s freedom of information requests. That disclosure came on the heels of revelations that Lerner shared the tax information of at least one conservative group with an FEC investigator, perhaps in violation of federal law.

Her misdeeds are likely more extensive. In June 2011, Lerner ordered a change in the “Be on the Lookout” listing for tea-party groups because she — rightfully — deemed the language inappropriate. According to the Treasury Department inspector general’s report, the following month, in July 2011, “the criteria were changed to focus on the potential ‘political, lobbying, or [general] advocacy’ activities of the organization.” But several IRS officials have now told congressional investigators that this change was essentially a rebranding effort led by Lerner and her colleague, Holly Paz, the former director of the IRS’s Rulings and Agreements office, to allow the targeting to continue without a paper trail. ”Many screeners have said they understood that to be just a change in name,” says a source close to the investigation. In January 2012, the sanitized listing was changed back to include the terms Lerner found objectionable, which “supports the fact that it was a change in name, not substance,” the source adds.

That raises questions about the veracity of Paz’s sworn testimony. The senior IRS official, who was placed on administrative leave in June, told investigators that the term “tea party” was “just sort of a shorthand reference” for all political activity, akin to ”calling soda ‘Coke.’” But according to the source, her subordinates have said just the opposite: that “political activity” activity, akin to “calling soda ‘Coke.’” But according to the source, her subordinates have said just the opposite: that “political activity” was, in fact, a shorthand reference to “tea party.”


Read more:
Lerner Covers Her Tracks | National Review Online

Is there any wonder as to why Ms. Lois Lerner has elected to hide behind the Fifth Amendment?
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