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Topics: House Oversight

Justice Department official admits to investigators that his agency talked to IRS in 2010

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Tea Party,IRS,Darrell Issa,Justice Department,Jim Jordan,House Oversight

A Justice Department official told congressional investigators that the department met with the IRS in 2010 to raise the alarm about political spending by nonprofits.

House lawmakers revealed the admission in a letter to the Justice Department citing the transcribed interview of Richard Pilger, the head of the election crimes branch.

"According to Mr. Pilger, the Justice Department convened a meeting with former IRS official Lois Lerner in October 2010 to discuss how the IRS could assist in the criminal enforcement of campaign-finance laws against politically active nonprofits," House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote along with subcommittee chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. "Mr. Pilger's testimony reveals that the Justice Department contributed to the political pressure on the IRS to "fix the problem" posed by the Citizens United decision."

Issa sent a subpoena to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday demanding documents pertaining to Justice Department communication with the IRS about the targeting scandal. Thursday's letter asks Holder to make Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith available, as he is the person who asked Pilger to reach out to the IRS.

"It is apparent that the Department’s leadership, including Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith, was closely involved in engaging with the IRS in wake of Citizens United and political pressure from prominent Democrats to address perceived problems with the decision," Issa and Jordan wrote.

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