On Wednesday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) sent a letter to Federal Election Commission Chairman Ellen Weintraub, asking that the FEC turn over records of communications over five years with the IRS. The basis for Issa’s letter was a CNN report that suggested “the prospect of inappropriate coordination between the IRS and the FEC about tax-exempt entities.”
This week, Don McGahn, vice chairman of the FEC told CNN that he witnessed an email from the FEC to Lois Lerner, former head of the IRS tax-exempt division, asking Lerner to talk about the status of a conservative group, American Future Fund. The IRS then allegedly sent a questionnaire to the group. “Dealing with Lois Lerner is probably out of the ordinary,” McGahn stated. GOP congressional investigators have also uncovered emails between Lerner and an FEC lawyer regarding both AFF and the conservative American Issues Project.
If the FEC wanted private data from the IRS, that would have violated federal law in all likelihood. Weintraub told CNN she doesn’t know of “any evidence or targeting based on ideology” or “requesting or receiving any confidential taxpayer information. I am not aware of any requests for anything that wasn’t publicly available.”