Ample suspicion has surrounded the IRS claim that two years’ worth of emails to and from former official Lois Lerner were lost in a hard drive crash. A central figure in an ongoing congressional investigation into targeting of conservative groups, many Americans believe the correspondences were purposefully destroyed in an effort to protect others involved.
Judging from the contents of one Lerner conversation that actually made it to GOP investigators in the House, one can only wonder what outrageous plots were hatched in the countless lost emails.
Committee Chairman Dave Camp presented the email Wednesday, noting that Lerner was inadvertently sent an invitation meant for Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley. In addition to correcting the mistake in an email to the senders, she crafted a message to an IRS colleague in which she seemingly supported pursuing charges against Grassley.
“Looked like they were inappropriately offering to pay for his wife,” she wrote. “Perhaps we should refer to Exam?”
In a response, Matthew Giuliano instructed Lerner – who was at the time a high-ranking IRS official – that her accusation of wrongdoing was unfounded.
“Not sure we should send to exam,” the email stated. “I think the offer to pay for Grassley’s wife is income to Grassley, and not prohibited on its face…”
The response continued: “We would need to wait for: (i) Grassley to accept and attend the speaking arrangement, and (ii) then determine whether [redacted] issues him a 1099. And even without the 1099, it would be Grassley who would need to report the income on his 1040. Either way [redacted].”
Camp was outraged at Lerner’s brazen attempt to use a misdirected invitation as potential ammunition against a Republican senator.
“At every turn,” he concluded, “Lerner was using the IRS as a tool for political purposes in defiance of taxpayer rights.”
He lamented the fact that Americans “may never know the full extent of the abuse since the IRS conveniently lost two years of Lerner emails, not to mention those of other key figures in this scandal.”
Camp also criticized Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department for its failure to investigate the IRS, citing the refusal as further evidence of “this administration’s unwillingness to uphold the rule of law.”