Lois Lerner — the former IRS official at the center of the Tea-Party-targeting scandal — has broken her silence. No, she hasn’t changed her mind and testified to Congress — Lerner continues to hide behind her Fifth Amendment pleading — but she has given a lengthy, exclusive interview to the sympathetic, left-leaning website politico.com.
In what could be described as a strategic first step in the attempt to rehabilitate Lois Lerner’s public image, Politico has published the first interview Lerner has given since being held in contempt of Congress. The interview was reportedly conducted in Lerner’s multi-million dollar mansion in Maryland, in an exclusive neighborhood of manicured lawns and BMWs, where she alternated between being defiant and weepy as she defended herself alongside her high-priced attorneys.
And Lerner’s primary message…not surprising: that she did nothing wrong as she sought to carry out her sworn duties for the IRS.
Lois Lerner is toxic — and she knows it. But she refuses to recede into anonymity or beg for forgiveness for her role in the IRS tea party-targeting scandal.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Lerner said in her first press interview since the scandal broke 16 months ago. “I’m proud of my career and the job I did for this country.”
While presenting the “soft” side of Lois Lerner as a champion of animal welfare — she actually took time away from her IRS duties to help rescue animals after Hurricane Katrina — the Politico piece also notes she can be fierce and formidable.
The portrait that emerges shows Lerner is, indeed, fierce, unapologetic and perhaps even tone-deaf when she says things that show her Democratic leanings. She had a quick temper and may have intimidated co-workers who could have helped her out of this mess. It’s easy to see how Republicans have seized on the image of a devilish figure cracking down on conservative nonprofits.
And what about all those missing emails? Those broken computer drives so conveniently inaccessible? Again, Lerner claimed she did nothing wrong.
Advertisement - story continues below
[button style=’blue’ url=’http://www.westernjournalism.com/polls-and-petitions/arrest-lois-lerner-petition/’ target=’_blank’ icon=’entypo-plus’]Sign The Petition For The Immediate Arrest Of Lois Lerner[/button]
A clear takeaway from the Politico profile of Lois Lerner — she has no intention of backing down or bending at all in the face of continuing congressional efforts to get her to testify about her highly controversial activities at the IRS.
“Regardless of whatever else happens, I know I did the best I could under the circumstances, and am not sorry for anything I did,” the 63-year-old said.