House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) announced Friday that, after months of discussions, the IRS has agreed to turn over Lois Lerner emails and documents to the committee.
More from The Hill:
The Internal Revenue Service has agreed to turn over emails and other documents from Lois Lerner, a core player in the agency’s targeting controversy, the House Ways and Means Committee said Friday.
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) threatened last month to subpoena those documents after criticizing the IRS for failing to comply with his request.
“This is a significant step forward and will help us complete our investigation into the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups,” Camp said in a statement.
This news follows a House Oversight committee hearing earlier this week during which Lerner again invoked her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and did not answer any questions.
In February, Camp sent a letter to the new IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, in which he reiterated a request for documents, including all Lois Lerner emails starting from January 1, 2009. Some documents had previously been provided to the committee, but they were limited in scope, according to the letter.
It has been almost eight months since I wrote Acting Commissioner Werfel to request, among other things, all Lois Lerner e-mails starting from January 1, 2009. To date, the committee has received only those Lerner documents from this period that include one or more search terms and limited to the determinations process. Given emerging evidence of Lerner’s central role in targeting not just through the determinations process, but also in the examinations, appeals and rulemaking processes, all Lerner documents during this time period are pertinent to the investigation.
While Lerner didn’t answer any questions for Congress this week, her attorney said Wednesday that the former IRS official has provided a full interview to the Justice Department, reported the Wall Street Journal.
In a press conference Wednesday, lawyer William Taylor III said Ms. Lerner had given a lengthy interview to Justice Department prosecutors within the last six months, as part of the agency’s investigation into IRS targeting of conservative tea-party groups for burdensome special scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status.
Some legal experts said it can be risky to expose a client to Justice Department interviews without a grant of immunity. Ms. Lerner’s lawyers said she got no immunity from DOJ.
Her lawyers decided to let her talk to DOJ prosecutors because they have “every confidence” that they are fair-minded and haven’t prejudged the facts, Mr. Taylor said. GOP committee members, by contrast, intended only to “vilify” Ms. Lerner, he said.