Curious: Lois Lerner discussed new IRS ‘scrutiny’ guidelines same month her emails disappeared

posted at 5:21 pm on July 1, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Former Internal Revenue Service executive Lois Lerner, once the head of the division which oversaw tax-exemption applications, spoke at a 2010 government conference where she joined former chief of staff to the IRS commissioner Nikole Flax, in discussing new guidelines the agency would use when scrutinizing applications.

According to a report via The Daily Caller’s Patrick Howley, Flax and Lerner both briefed federal bureaucrats on the new approach to vetting groups applying for tax-exempt status apparently amid a series of computer crashes that permanently deleted the emails of both IRS officials.

Both Flax and Lerner spoke at the February 18 – 19, 2010 non-profit legal and tax conference workshop on a panel entitled “Will the IRS Come Knocking?”

Lerner gave a luncheon speech at a morning session featuring workshops entitled “Current Developments Affecting Exempt Organizations” and “Will the IRS Come Knocking? What You Need To Know About IRS Audit Plans And Practices For Tax Exempts,” which was moderated by Washington lawyer and former IRS exempt director Marcus S. Owens. Lerner served as “government faculty” for the conference, according to a program obtained by The Daily Caller.

Flax, a frequent White House visitor, announced that 155 new employees were recently added to the Exempt Organizations office, and said that 100 of these employees would be working in the examinations office to audit nonprofit groups. Flax also announced the addition of new Washington-based “tax law specialists” to work on private-letter rulings for groups that would need renewal of their charitable tax-exempt status.

The IRS reportedly began to perform what they eventually admitted to be “inappropriate” targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status that same month. The IRS later claimed that many of the emails Lerner, Flax, and others sent between 2009 and 2011 were lost as a result of computer crashes and the subsequent destruction of IRS hardware.

Among the email communications between Flax and Lerner which the IRS did submit to congressional investigators was this exchange from May 8, 2013 – just days before Lerner admitted to undue targeting of conservative groups at an American Bar Association conference:

I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ. I know him from contacts from my days there. He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s could talk to about [Rhode Island Democrat] Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s –saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs.

I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS. I am out of town all next week, so wanted to reach out and see who you think would be right for such a meeting and also hand this off to Nan as contact person if things need to happen while I am gone

“Translation: The Obama Justice Department was reaching out to the Obama IRS to see if it could “piece together” prosecutions of nonprofits even before any evidence of wrongdoing emerged,” observed National Review’s David French.

Flax replied:

I think we should do it – also need to include CI, which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC. Does it make sense to consider including them in this or keep it separate?

If there was this level of coordination between Flax and Lerner in 2013 regarding the strict enforcement of tax law, it would be interesting to see how they corresponded in 2010.


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Why isn’t this wench in jail?

OmahaConservative on July 1, 2014 at 5:25 PM

This is new? I swear I read that email before. Of course they were colluding. It is plain as day.

cptacek on July 1, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Corrupt from the top to bottom!

rjoco1 on July 1, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Nothing to see here.

What I want to know is why Hobby Lobby changed their benefits package when they realized it didn’t meet their standards!

/verbaluce

gwelf on July 1, 2014 at 5:36 PM

What an odd coincidence!

Almost as odd as 7 separate hard drive crashes destroying critical emails from a critical time period.

talkingpoints on July 1, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Arrest her and lock her in the Capitol until she talks.

joekenha on July 1, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Remember, anyone in private industry who appears half this dirty would be awaiting trial right now.
Lois and everyone else who wipes their a$$ with the Constitution walks free, forever free.

Tard on July 1, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Also from the DC article:

Flax made 31 visits to the White House between July 12, 2010 and May 8, 2013, according to White House visitor logs. Flax’s visits started in the early days of the IRS targeting program and ended just two days before the IRS scandal broke on May 10, 2013. Flax met twice in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with Jeanne Lambrew, a top adviser to President Obama who exchanged confidential information on conservative groups with Lerner.

Flax shows up on the official White House guest list. I wonder if her emails also appear on the WH servers…

ROCnPhilly on July 1, 2014 at 5:45 PM

She had her shot at immunity and didn’t take it.

Fry her ass.

formwiz on July 1, 2014 at 5:48 PM

It’s nice to know she and the IRS was being proactive and doing this the right way.

Walter L. Newton on July 1, 2014 at 5:51 PM

I don’t want her in jail, I want her in a tumbrel cart.

Racistanyway on July 1, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Who the F*ck cares at this point?

Does ANYBODY think ANYTHING will de done????????????????

ToddPA on July 1, 2014 at 5:56 PM

.,..arrest her!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 1, 2014 at 5:58 PM

I think it’s past time to waterboard Lerner.

Severian on July 1, 2014 at 6:06 PM

I don’t want her in jail, I want her in a tumbrel cart.

Racistanyway on July 1, 2014 at 5:54 PM

I had to look that up, nice!

Tard on July 1, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Off with her head!

Tilly on July 1, 2014 at 6:36 PM

You want soccer. Try Calcio Storico…

http://vimeo.com/25512336

Soccer, rugby and professional wrestling all in one game.

Walter L. Newton on July 1, 2014 at 6:38 PM

You want soccer. Try Calcio Storico…

http://vimeo.com/25512336

Soccer, rugby and professional wrestling all in one game.

Walter L. Newton on July 1, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Oops… wrong thread. Well… watch it anyway.

Walter L. Newton on July 1, 2014 at 6:44 PM

I hear nothing, I see nothing, I know nothing!” – every Democrat in Congress

myiq2xu on July 1, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Flax, a frequent White House visitor, announced that 155 new employees were recently added to the Exempt Organizations office, and said that 100 of these employees would be working in the examinations office to audit nonprofit groups.

So they got 100 new employees to work on targeting Tea Party groups.

Who authorized the new hires?

This seems like a BFD to me. Amirite?

forest on July 1, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Flax, a frequent White House visitor, announced that 155 new employees were recently added to the Exempt Organizations office, and said that 100 of these employees would be working in the examinations office to audit nonprofit groups.

So they got 100 new employees to work on targeting Tea Party groups.

Who authorized the new hires?

This seems like a BFD to me. Amirite?

forest on July 1, 2014 at 7:17 PM

This sounds like a whole new layer of harassment, “to audit” them after they are operating, after they have finally been approved after years of delay.

slickwillie2001 on July 1, 2014 at 7:37 PM

She had her shot at immunity and didn’t take it.

Fry her ass.

formwiz on July 1, 2014 at 5:48 PM

The problem with offering her immunity, is immunity from what? Without a provable crime, she doesn’t need immunity.
This is organized crime. The only way you can fry any one of them, is if someone on the inside rats them out. That usually comes from someone being nailed for some other serious crime and are facing a for sure prison sentence.

Mimzey on July 1, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Why isn’t this wench in jail?

OmahaConservative on July 1, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Because Bohner is the other side that is just playing against the mooks in the middle US.

This Bia should have been thrown in jail for contempt and perjury and whatever else they could throw against the wall. Everyone knows once you start putting people in the pokey lips start letting loose. If not her then perhaps the myriad of people that were on the otherside of her emails trying to CYA just in case their name popped out.

The IRS should be defunded in FULL and we should demand a switch over to a Fair tax type system were top down corruption could be eliminated. Putting the gov into everyones pocket down to the detail of how many miles you traveled is just a recipe for abuse.

C-Low on July 1, 2014 at 10:04 PM

If any government monster owes the US citizens total disclosure its the IRS. Nothing at all should be hidden or under the covers. Anyone employed that attempts to cover up the slightest bit of misconduct should be immediately fired and charges pressed.

jaywemm on July 2, 2014 at 1:03 AM

I did a post on this after reading the Washington Post’s aborted timeline. They intentionally missed key facts to make it LOOK like there was no conspiracy.

This all started to fall apart back in 2010, when a civil case was filed against the IRS. AFTER THAT, the rats started scrambling, losing files and crashing hard drives and getting their stories straight. The Congress was late to the party.

http://truthandcommonsense.com/2014/07/02/washington-post-slides-by-the-fact-to-prove-there-is-no-case-in-the-irs-computer-crash-scandal/

This is all theater and nobody at the IRS thinks it means anything. They don’t care because they OWN THE POWER! Why else would they send the old guy up to Congress without any reports or files, to say someone told him the computers crashed- but can’t remember WHEN he was told, by WHO, with WHAT verification. But that’s cool!

And he is some kind of guru in fixing companies?

No, he’s playing a part in a play. The “keep the public distracted” play.

And Issa is going right along.

archer52 on July 2, 2014 at 7:24 AM

At least we are finding out what a “smidgeon” is…

Lies, lies, and more lies…

right2bright on July 2, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Get a load of the title of this conference:

“Will the IRS Come Knocking?”

Come in. Have a piece of cake. We have lots of literature on the Catholic sacraments you can take with you, if you like. (Oh that’s those other people that only come knocking once,) Have some cake is a bribe? I make really good pot roast, are you hungry?

We paid a lot more in taxes this year if you are reading this from the black helicopter.

Fleuries on July 2, 2014 at 12:44 PM

If there was this level of coordination between Flax and Lerner in 2013 regarding the strict enforcement of tax law, it would be interesting to see how they corresponded in 2010.

Yes, it would, wouldn’t it? Don’t hold your breath.

jnelchef on July 2, 2014 at 4:00 PM