The Hillary Clinton email scandal cover-up evidently isn’t keeping the Obama administration’s lawyers busy enough.
Recently, all of America learned, thanks to Judicial Watch, that the infamous former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS Lois Lerner had yet another email account that may contain documents about the Obama IRS scandal. Judicial Watch’s litigation forced the IRS to disclose this astonishing piece of news in a court filing earlier this week. The U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the IRS has filed a status report that provides us with some limited information about Lerner’s secretive email account:
In the process of preparing this status report and for the August 24, 2015, release of Lerner communications, the undersigned attorneys learned that, in addition to emails to or from an email account denominated “Lois G. Lerner” or “Lois Home,” some emails responsive to Judicial Watch’s request may have been sent to or received from a personal email account denominated “Toby Miles.” The undersigned attorneys contacted the Office of IRS Chief Counsel, and IRS Chief Counsel attorneys informed the undersigned attorneys that these denominations refer to a personal email account used by Lerner.
Evidently, “Toby Miles” refers to the Lerner family dog. (“Miles” is the last name of Ms. Lerner’s husband.)
The development comes in Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking documents about the Obama IRS’ targeting and harassment of Tea Party and conservative opponents of President Obama. Judicial Watch’s litigation forced the IRS first to admit that Lerner’s emails were supposedly missing and, then, that the emails were on IRS’ back-up systems.
It is remarkable that the Obama IRS and Justice Department waited two years to tell a federal court that Lois Lerner had a separate email account that contains documents at issue in the IRS scandal. Especially since both agencies knew about this account since April of last year.
It could be a crime if Lerner kept confidential taxpayer data on her non-governmental email account.
This new disclosure follows the Obama administration’s Nixonian practice of “modified limited hangouts” of information about its IRS scandal and Lerner’s “lost and found” emails. Every step of the way, the Obama IRS has obstructed this court’s orders to get Lerner’s emails recovered and searched.
Just to review, it was back in May 2013 that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released an audit report confirming that the IRS used “inappropriate” criteria to identify Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations that had expressed opposition to the Obama administration’s policy agenda during his re-election bid. In May 2014, Lerner was held in contempt of Congress after refusing to testify at a congressional hearing about the agency’s actions. TIGTA has proven to be a real goldmine for the truth that the IRS has worked to conceal. Earlier this month, report confirming that the IRS failed to conduct a timely search of its back-up tapes, resulting in 24,000 Lerner emails being destroyed. The TIGTA report also confirms that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen delayed informing Congress (and the courts) for months about Lerner’s email issue.
In late July, U.S District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan threatened to hold the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department attorneys in contempt of court after the IRS failed to produce status reports and newly recovered emails of Lerner, as he had ordered on July 1, 2015.
Earlier this year, TIGTA testified to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that it had received 744 backup tapes containing emails sent and received by Lerner. This testimony showed that the IRS had falsely represented to both Congress, Judge Sullivan, and Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails were irretrievably lost.
As The Washington Times, whose Stephen Dinan first broke this JW story, points out, the IRS and Justice Department is still playing games even as it pretends to be forthcoming to the Court:
In his court filing, [Justice Department attorney] Mr. Klimas argued that the IRS had previously hinted there may be other personal email accounts, pointing back to a footnote in a letter attached to a June 27, 2014, brief that mentioned “documents located on her personal home computer and email on her personal email account.”
He altered that wording in his filing Monday, saying the database of Lerner emails turned over to Congress included messages from her “‘personal home computer and email on her personal email’ account(s).”
Since the court has already threatened both IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Justice Department attorneys with a contempt charge over the Lerner email issue, I suspect that Judge Sullivan won’t be pleased by this latest revelation and gamesmanship.