COMMITTEE on WAYS and MEANS

Chairman Dave Camp

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Sarah Swinehart (202) 226-4774

EXPOSED: IRS kept secret for months, more than just Lerner emails lost

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Washington, Jun 17 | comments
Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany Jr., M.D. (R-LA) revealed that the Committee’s early work into “lost” IRS emails show the problem is much bigger than the IRS initially admitted to.  

In addition to Lois Lerner’s emails, the IRS cannot produce records from six other IRS employees involved in the targeting of conservative groups.  One of those figures is Nikole Flax, who served as Chief of Staff to Steve Miller, who at the time of the targeting was Deputy Commissioner and would later serve as Acting Commissioner of the IRS – a position from which he was fired for his role in the targeting of conservative groups.  The timeframe for which Ms. Flax’s communications are purportedly unrecoverable covers when the Washington, DC office wrote and directed the Cincinnati field office to send abusive questionnaires, including inappropriate demands for donor information, to conservative groups.

Camp and Boustany also uncovered that the IRS has been keeping secret for months the fact that the Agency lost these critical records.  Ways and Means investigators have confirmed that the Agency first knew of the destroyed emails as early as February 2014 – nearly three months prior to newly installed Commissioner John Koskinen telling the Committee the IRS would produce all of Lois Lerner’s emails.

Camp and Boustany made the following statement regarding these new facts:

“It looks like the American people were lied to and the IRS tried to cover-up the fact it conveniently lost key documents in this investigation.  The White House promised full cooperation, the Commissioner promised full access to Lois Lerner emails and now the Agency claims it cannot produce those materials and they’ve known for months they couldn’t do this.

“Even when the IRS does admit something, they are not fully honest with us.  Despite their attempt to bury the missing Lerner emails on page 15 of a 27 page letter that arrived late Friday, we now know documents from other central figures, like Nikole Flax, are missing.  The fact that Ms. Flax was a frequent visitor to the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building only raises more questions.  Who was she visiting at the White House and what were they talking about?  Was she updating the White House on the targeting or was she getting orders?  These are answers we don’t yet have, because – surprise, surprise – a few computers crashed.  Plot lines in Hollywood are more believable than what we are getting from this White House and the IRS.

“This entire investigation has been slow-walked by the Administration while they denied any wrongdoing and tried blaming ‘low-level’ workers in Cincinnati – all of which we have proven to be wrong.  This entire case started with the White House and top Democrats in the Senate using the bully pulpit to bully law-abiding Americans because they dared to stand up for their own political beliefs.  The only way for Democrats to have any credibility on this issue is to immediately give an independent prosecutor full access and full authority to investigate every angle of this case.”

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