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A set of newly released emails detail former IRS official Lois Lerner asking a supervisor not to visit her Cincinnati office while conservative organizations accused Lerner and her office of denying conservative organizations 501(c)(4) tax exempt status.
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These emails were obtained by conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit they filed in 2013.
The following email exchange took place on April 4, 2012 between Lerner and then Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) Division Deputy Director Joseph H. Grant. Lerner pleads with Grant – her superior – to postpone his visit.
LERNER: We just got a very extensive information request from Imraan -sure looks like op review material. I’m especially concerned that information about pipeline is being asked about.
Add to that the fact that Cincinnati is smack dab in the middle of the c4 Congressional inquiries and is about to get a request from TIGTA on all of that, this is NOT a good time to be asking them for anything or to be talking to them about issue in their work. Everyone is stressed to the max and at their wits end, so can we put this off please?
GRANT: It is a visit, not an OP review … I am also interested in the questions [Imraan Khakoo, TE/GE official] sent to them. Some answers should be readily at hand. Others certainly won’t be.
The questions just serve as a framework for a broader conversation about how things are going and what is on our respective minds.
LERNER: I get that – but timing would be bad if we have to go to Cincy now. So, I will assume we can go over this here as I get the information I’ve already asked for? Thanks.
GRANT: I think we are in agreement, but just to be sure. I am planning to go to CIncy at the end of the month. I am travelling with Nan Marks and Imraan.
LERNER: Fine with me – just trying to keep the stress level manageable in Cincinnati – they are pretty freaked. Please don’t ask them about closures, pipelines, wait time for full development cases, or the c4 application letters. I know Imraan is really interested in that stuff in general – I promise to give him info – that just wouldn’t be the best place to ask.
A separate report released last month by former House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., showed Hilary Goehausen – a tax-law specialist working under Lerner – called a specific Tea Party group applying for (c)(4) status “icky.”
I think there may be a number of ways to deny them. Let me talk to Sharon [Light] tomorrow about it and get some ideas from her as well… This sounds like a bad org. :/ … This org gives me an icky feeling.
h/t: The Daily Caller