Judicial Watch, which sued to force the miracle production of the Lerner emails, reported that the emails confirm that Ms. Lerner and her colleagues were aware of the sensitive nature of the cases but appeared to hide details of the massive backlog they were amassing as they held up hundreds of tea party and conservative group applications for nonprofit status.
In one Nov. 3, 2011, exchange between Ms. Lerner and Cindy Thomas, a program manager in the Cincinnati office that was handling the cases and was involved in a back-and-forth with Washington, the IRS admitted to having hundreds of cases stacked up and awaiting action. Ms Thomas ordered one of those inquiry letters to be sent, just to prevent one of the organizations being held up from complaining. to congress.
“Just today, I instructed one of my managers to get an additional information letter out to one of these organizations — if nothing else to buy time so he didn’t contact his Congressional Office,”That email exchange not only proves that the IRS employees knew what was going on, and they tried to cover it up from congress but also that Washington were deeply involved in making decisions about the nonprofit groups’ cases. Another IRS lawyer responded to Lerner’s email with an admission that IRS’ D.C. headquarters legal staff had hundreds of cases backlogged. Michael Seto, who headed the Exempt Organization Technical Unit, acknowledged to Lerner on November 9, 2011, that there were 446 application cases open beginning of fiscal year 2012, with many open for more than two years. The emails also show that Lerner and other top officials of the IRS were aware of complaints about treatment by Tea Party groups. In response to a February 2012 complaint and request for briefing from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about, according to the IRS, a Tea Party an organization that applied for exemption about 18 months previously and only “just recently” heard anything about the status of its application:
“When it did finally hear from us, we [the IRS] apparently asked some fairly detailed questions and gave the organization a short deadline to respond.”Miller, who was then-IRS Deputy Commissioner for Service and Enforcement, emailed “let me know if it’s a taxpayer I should know about.” He also complained about the number of emails about the issue, writing: “Will the emails never stop?” Miller became Acting Commissioner for the IRS later in the year and was shown the door after the Obama IRS scandal became public.
“These recovered Lois Lerner emails had to be dragged out of the Obama IRS, which is still resisting a federal court order requiring disclosure of Lerner’s ‘lost’ emails,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “This material shows that the IRS’ cover-up began years ago. We now have smoking-gun proof that top officials in the Obama IRS unlawfully harassed taxpayers just to keep them from complaining to Congress about IRS’ targeting and abuse. No wonder the Obama IRS has had such little interest in preserving or finding Lois Lerner’s emails.”