While former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is facing a more high profile investigation right now, Lois Lerner’s email issues don’t seem to be going away either. Lerner served as the director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). According to the agency’s own attorney, Lerner had yet another private email account; that makes two. The latest one to come to light appears to have been operated from even deeper in the shadows.
Lois Lerner had yet another personal email account used to conduct some IRS business, the tax agency confirmed in a new court filing late Monday that further complicates the administration’s efforts to be transparent about Ms. Lerner’s actions during the tea party targeting scandal.
IRS lawyer Geoffrey J. Klimas told the court that as the agency was putting together a set of documents to turn over to Judicial Watch, it realized Ms. Lerner had used yet another email account, in addition to her official one and another personal one already known to the agency.
“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,’” Mr. Klimas told Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who is hearing the case.
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said it was stunning the agency was just now admitting the existence of the address.
“It is simply astonishing that years after this scandal erupted we are learning about an account Lois Lerner used that evidently hadn’t been searched,” he said, accusing the IRS of hiding Lerner-related information throughout — including the existence of the backup tapes of her official email account, which the agency’s inspector general easily found once it went looking for them.
Mr. Klimas didn’t respond to an email seeking comment Monday evening, and a spokeswoman for the tax agency didn’t respond to an email and phone call.
But in his court filing 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.”
Ms. Lerner’s emails became an issue after she was singled out as a key figure in the IRS’s treatment of tea party and conservative groups who sought tax-exempt status. The IRS improperly delayed hundreds of applications and sent out intrusive questionnaires asking what the agency now says were inappropriate inquiries.
When President Obama promised the most transparent administration in history, no one thought that translated to “not being able to see anything.” Not that previous administrations were particularly transparent either, mind you. In this regard, the Obama White House is hardly breaking new ground. Unfortunately, it’s ground that the president promised to not cover.
We wonder who has a pool going as to what’s the next email related problem for the White House?
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