Although former IRS official Lois Lerner refuses to speak, pleading the fifth amendment, her attorney spoke on her behalf regarding the controversy over two years of missing IRS emails.
William Taylor III said that accusations by Republicans that she is hiding something is “silly… she doesn’t know what happened… It’s a little brazen to think she did this on purpose.”
The IRS and Democrats contend that the emails were lost due to a hard drive crash. Yet, as Politico reported, it so happens that the computer glitch was concomitant with the 2009 time period in which Cincinnati IRS agents started delaying the approvals of Tea Party groups vying for 501(c)(4) non-profit status. Notably, the not-for- profit designation would have allowed the conservative groups the capacity to carry out a limited amount of political activity.
Applying the strategy that a good defense is bolstered by a strong offense, Taylor, speaking at a House Oversight hearing, remarked that, “This is a so-called congressional investigation with no pretense of objectivity or bipartisanship.” Taylor added, “Critics of Ms. Lerner and the IRS seize indiscriminately on small pieces of fact to claim they prove scandal.”
Taylor, a founding partner of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, contends that the computer malfunction was an accident. He claims that the former head of the IRS’s tax exempt division had turned on her computer one day, only to view a “blue screen,” and Lerner had not backed emails up on a USB or separate hard drive.
For good reason, the Republicans are skeptical of Taylor’s comments. Suspiciously, only 10 days before the crash happened, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) had sent his first letter to the IRS about 501(c)(4) political activities and donors. Lending more evidence to Lerner’s culpability, she had sent emails expressing that she wanted to work for pro-Obama group Organizing for America and wanted to scrutinize conservative PACs like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.
The Washington Examiner reported that, based on a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, Taylor’s job is far from done. He and the IRS will be making their case in court on July 10, when they will have to explain to a federal judge why the tax agency didn’t “inform the court that Lois Lerner’s emails had been lost and discuss the IRS’s failure to fulfill its duties under the law.”