Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Politics

Republicans

House Republicans: IRS probe shows Lerner used personal email for official business

May 22, 2013: Long-time IRS official Lois Lerner speaks at the House Oversight Committee hearing investigating the extra scrutiny the IRS gave to conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status. Lerner told the committee she did nothing wrong and then invoked her constitutional right to not answer questions from lawmakers. (AP)

House Republicans on Tuesday asked an IRS official at the center of their probe into the agency targeting Tea Party groups for documents related to her personal email account, after learning she allegedly used the account for official business.

The request from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to official Lois Lerner states she sent documents related to her official duties from her IRS email account to an account labeled ‘Lois Home.’

“This raises some serious questions,” wrote committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. “To understand the extent to which you may have used a non-official email account for official purposes, … we request that you produce all documents and communications housed in your msn.com account.”

Issa suggested such activity could violate federal records requirements, creates difficulties in filing Freedom of Information Act requests and “frustrates congressional oversight obligations.”

The IRS acknowledged this spring that it had targeted the Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations when they were applying for nonprofit status from 2010 to 2012.

Lerner is the former director of the agency's Exempt Organizations unit and invoked her Fifth Amendment rights in May when called before Congress to testify on the issue. She has since been on paid leave.

Issa and subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, have given Lerner until Aug. 27 to comply with the request, which also covers any other non-official account that reference Lerner’s official IRS duties.

A committee spokesman told FoxNews.com such documents could be subpoenaed but he declined to say whether investigators would take such action.

An IRS spokesman said agency officials are awaiting receipt of the letter andwill review it.

The targeting, which delayed groups learning whether they would be granted tax-exempt status, sparked public outrage and several other probes including one by the FBI.

The House oversight committee as recently as this month complained that acting IRS Commissioner Danny Wurfel has failed to comply promptly with requests to supply documents related to the investigation.