Lois Lerner, the IRS Director of Exempt Organizations, signed letters that were sent to targeted groups asking them to turn over an extensive amount of information to the IRS. Earlier this week Lerner refused to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, but not before proclaiming that she had “done nothing wrong” or “broken any laws.”
Lerner has been placed on administrative leave, reportedly after she refused to resign from the agency.
American Center for Law and Justice chief counsel Jay Sekulow, who represents more that a dozen Tea Party groups, released a sample of the IRS letters sent to Tea Party type groups.
“It appears Lerner did nothing to stop the abusive conduct. And our evidence suggests she was actively participating in the improper targeting in March 2012,” he said in a statement.
The Inspector General’s timeline shows that Lerner was briefed in June of 2011. According to the IG report, Lerner had ordered the criteria to be changed in June 2011 but it was “then broadened, but somehow it was changed again in January 2012 ‘without executive approval.’ ”
Sekulow said their records show Lerner sent 14 other letters to 14 of his group’s clients in March and April of that year. He said it’s unclear why her signature is on some letters but not others.
Rep. Darrell Issa, Chair of the House Oversight Committee released this statement “After consulting with counsel, Chairman Issa has concluded that Ms. Lerner’s Fifth Amendment assertion is no longer valid. She remains under subpoena. The committee is looking at recalling her for further testimony.”