Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the scandal where the agency allegedly targeted conservative groups, called Republicans “evil and dishonest” with a “hateful message” in emails. The Senate Finance Committee released contents of the emails as part of an Aug. 6 report.
The emails showed that Lerner, who headed up the division processing tax-exempt status applications, and others working in the department, let their personal politics and the Obama administration’s political agenda affect their jobs.
Comments made in emails to friends after Lerner appeared before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in 2014 indicated she intended to maintain her 5th Amendment rights.
“Yesterday was a doozy. They called me back to testify on the IRS ‘scandal,’ and I tool (sic) the 5th again because they had been so evil and dishonest in my lawyer’s dealings with them,” Lerner wrote in a March 6, 2014 email. She added: “this is very bad behavior from our elected officials.”
Lerner, who has since retired, also said she was a pawn in Republicans’ attempts to take over the Senate and were using the scandal to gain donations.
“Every time they get some email they see as incriminating, they roil up their base and get lots of contributions and spread their hateful message about how the government is out to get people,” she wrote.
Lerner also apparently doesn’t like Texas because she said it “is just pathetic as far as political attitudes are concerned” and also stated that President Abraham Lincoln would have been better off letting the South secede.
A new piece of information that came out of the emails is that Lerner wanted the IRS IT staff to recover emails wiped from her server to turn over to the committee probing the scandal.
“Why the IRS was unable to retrieve them when my computer crashed, I have no clue — I’m not an IT person,” she wrote.
The Senate report said the IRS had a “dysfunctional culture” resulting from management flaws. That resulted in the mistreatment of conservative political groups applying for tax-exempt status. Lerner bears much of the responsibility, according to the report, because she failed to inform supervisors about long processing delays.
One of the problems was that the IRS didn’t audit groups conducting possible improper political activity from 2010 through 2014 because IRS officials were afraid they would be accused of targeting the groups out of “political leanings.” Sensitive taxpayer information was also inappropriately disclosed by IRS employees under the Freedom of Information Act, the report said.
“This bipartisan investigation shows gross mismanagement at the highest levels of the IRS and confirms an unacceptable truth: that the IRS is prone to abuse,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Finance Committee.
The IRS issued a statement after the report was released.
”The IRS is fully committed to making further improvements, and we want to do everything we can to help taxpayers have confidence in the fairness and integrity of the tax system,” the IRS statement said.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth