Lerner helped craft new IRS political crackdown

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LERNER HELPED CRAFT NEW IRS POLITICAL CRACKDOWN
The official at the center of the IRS scandal involving the targeting of President Obama’s political enemies secretly helped craft new rules for the agency that critics say would make such heavy-handed tactics legal. Emails obtained by the House Ways and Means Committee show IRS executive Lois Lerner working on the new rules in secret with Obama Treasury officials at the height of the targeting. Lerner has refused to testify before Congress amid the criminal investigation into misconduct at the agency. The regulations, which are currently pending, would allow the IRS to crack down on political activity by non-profit groups. A June 2012 email from a Treasury official to Lerner suggests that they work “off plan” –bureaucratic shorthand for keeping their meetings off of publicly available schedules – to devise the rules. Critics say the rules that resulted would permit agents to shut down dissent by non-profit groups.

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