Watchdog: Accountability

New emails show former IRS official Lois Lerner disparaging conservatives

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Tea Party,IRS,House Ways and Means Committee,Accountability,Transparency,Lois Lerner,Blake Seitz

Breaking news: Lois Lerner thinks conservatives are "a-------." She also admits to being "computer illiterate."

That information was contained in emails disclosed Wednesday by the House Ways and Means Committee as further evidence of "possible criminal wrongdoing" by Lerner, former director of the IRS division that targeted conservative groups applying for nonprofit status. The evidence was included in a letter from Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., to Attorney General Eric Holder.

In April, the panel referred Lerner to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution, saying she "used her position to improperly influence agency action against only conservative organizations, denying these groups due process and equal protection rights under the law." This charge, in conjunction with two others, could land Lerner in jail for 11 years if she is convicted, although the Justice Department has declined to appoint a special prosector to handle the case. The evidence disclosed Wednesday was intended to support that claim as well.

A series of emails sent in November 2012, when targeting was still taking place, show Lerner's contempt for conservative talk radio and what she calls "the whacko wing of the GOP." The emails were sent from Lerner's official email address,

In response to an undisclosed email, Lerner says "Well, you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP. 'The US is through; too many foreigners sucking the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food, and prepare for the end.' The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to."

Subsequent emails express her belief that the U.S. is being destroyed by conservative extremists. "Great. Maybe we are through if there are that many a-------," elaborating that the a------- in question are hosts of "right wing radio shows" and their "rabid" callers. "We don't need to worry about alien teRrorists [sic]. It's our own crazies that will take us down."

Lerner's position on "alien terrorists" is not immediately apparent.

Conservative critics of Lerner will get a chuckle from an admission she makes in a separate email chain. In a discussion with an IRS information technology professional about a virus on her home computer, Lerner revealed that she is "computer illiterate(-: " [sic]. Last year, Lerner admitted that she was "not good at math" during a conference call discussing the extent of IRS targeting of conservative groups.

All illiteracy and innumeracy aside, a more valuable revelation is buried in the email chain. During the discussion of her compromised home computer, Lerner writes that "I don't believe anything I have a home is a must for sending to my work computer, so I think we are oK there" [sic]. This indicates that Lerner kept work material on her home computer that may have escaped the untimely crash of her work hard drive — and congressional subpoena.

It has already been determined that Lerner used her personal email address to conduct official business, a practice that led to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (or rather, "Richard Windsor") leaving her post, and that she also cautioned colleagues about what to say in official emails.

In his letter accompanying the disclosure, Camp repeated his call for the Justice Department to take IRS targeting more seriously.

"In light of this new information, I hope DOJ will aggressively pursue this case and finally appoint a special counsel, so the full truth can be revealed and justice is served."

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Blake Seitz

Special to the Examiner
The Washington Examiner

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