AUGUST 25, 2015
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton issued the following statement today regarding the recent court filing by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revealing the existence of an alias email address used by Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS:
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 Lois 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 Lois Lerner “lost and found” emails. Every step of the way, the Obama IRS has obstructed this court’s orders to get Lois Lerner’s emails recovered and searched.
The Court has already threatened contempt against both IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Justice Department attorneys over the Lerner email issue. And I suspect that Judge Sullivan won’t be pleased by this latest revelation.
Yesterday evening, the Justice Department, on behalf of the IRS, filed a status report that gave limited information about a new Lois Lerner 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.
The development comes in Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit seeking documents about the Obama IRS’ targeting and harassment of Tea Party and conservative opponents of President Obama (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)). 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.
Last month, 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 Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS, as he had ordered on July 1, 2015.
Earlier this year, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (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.