Judicial Watch released new Lois Lerner emails on Wednesday which reveal that Ms Learner was concerned about the questions from Congress and tried to prevent a visit by her Divisional Director “to the IRS Cincinnati office “smack dab in the middle” of Congressional inquiries into the IRS targeting of conservative groups.
The new emails do not represent a smoking gun or an “I did it’ statement, but they do display the actions of someone who was hiding something about the IRS handling of Tea Party applications”
As explained by Judicial Watch:
The newly released documents include an intense chain of emails in which Lerner pleads with Grant, who was a supervisor to her, to “put this [Grant’s planned visit to Cincinnati] off please” at the very time during which both the internal IRS watchdog and Congress were investigating whether the IRS had been inappropriately targeting conservative groups in the months leading up to the 2012 elections. The chain begins with an email from Lerner to Grant, apparently written in response to her learning of the Deputy Director’s planned visit to the Cincinnati office:
April 4, 2012 – 4:41 PM – Lois Lerner to Joseph Grant: We just got an very extensive information request from Imraan [Imraan Khakoo, TE/GE official] –sure looks like op review material. I’m especially concerned that information about pipeline is being asked about … Add to that the fact tha cincinnati is smack dab in the middle of the c4 Congressional inqueries and is about to get a request from TIGTA on all of that, this is NOT a good time to be asking them for anything or to be talking to them about issue in their work. Everyone is stressed to the max and at their wits end, so can we put this off please? [Typos in originals]
April 4, 2012 – 5:17 PM – Joseph Grant to Lois Lerner: It is a visit, not an OP review … I am also interested in the questions Imraan sent to them. Some answers should be readily at hand. Others certainly won’t be … The questions just serve as a framework for a broader conversation about how things are going and what is on our respective minds.
April 4, 2012 – 5:26 PM – Lois Lerner to Joseph Grant: I get that–but timing would be bad if we have to go to Cincy now. So, I will assume we can go over this here as I get the information I’ve already asked for? Thanks.
April 4, 2012 –5:42 PM – Joseph Grant to Lois Lerner: I think we are in agreement, but just to be sure. I am planning to go to Cincy at the end of the month. I am travelling with Nan Marks and Imraan.
April 4, 2012 – 6:15 PM – Lois Lerner to Joseph Grant: Fine with me–just trying to keep the stress level manageable in Cincinnati–they are pretty freaked. Please don’t ask them about closures, pipelines, wait time for full development cases, or the c4 application letters. I know Imraan is really interested in that stuff in general—I promise to give him info—that just wouldn’t be the best place to ask. Thanks