Two House Dems demand Lerner resignation after using lobbyist to stage modified limited hangout
posted at 4:49 pm on May 17, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
What’s worse than a high-ranking federal bureaucrat dishonestly setting up a planted question in order to stage a modified limited hangout in order to downplay an explosive scandal coming on quickly? Using a lobbyist to do it:
Celia Roady, a lobbyist in the firm of Morgan Lewis, said she was called personally by Lois Lerner, the IRS head of the tax exempt division, on May 9.
“I received a call from Lois Lerner, who told me that she wanted to address an issue after her prepared remarks at the [American Bar Association] Tax Section’s Exempt Organizations Committee Meeting, and asked if I would pose a question to her after her remarks,” Roady said in a statement to U.S. News and World Report. “I agreed to do so, and she then gave me the question that I asked at the meeting the next day. We had no discussion thereafter on the topic of the question, nor had we spoken about any of this before I received her call. She did not tell me, and I did not know, how she would answer the question.”
Remember when Barack Obama pledged to reduce the influence of lobbyists in his administration? Less than five years later, his administration’s using them to set up alibis. Hopenchange!
No wonder two House Democrats want Lerner’s resignation tout suite:
Reps. Joe Crowley (D-Queens) and Sander Levin (D-Mich), top Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee, on Friday demanded the resignation of Lois Lerner, head of the IRS division overseeing tax-exempt organizations.
Lerner, who heads the IRS division that includes the Cincinnati office responsible for singling out conservative groups seeking tax exempt status for scrutiny, worked to put a stop to the practice.
But she faces fire for failing to tell Congress about the problem, including at a hearing held just two days before she apparently used a planted question at a American Bar Association event to try to control news of the scandal.
The New York Daily News offers this uncharacteristic bit of understatement:
The apparent flubbed effort to soften the impact of the IG’s report irked lawmakers in both parties.
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