Lois Lerner broke her silence in an interview at Politico, according to Politico: Exclusive: Lois Lerner breaks silence.

More properly framed, Lerner repeated to Politico the same broad denials she made on the record in a House hearing just before pleading the 5th to avoid having those broad denials subjected to questioning.

Here’s her House statement, just before pleading the 5th for the first of two times:

Here’s an excerpt from Lerner’s Politico interview: [___________].

That blank is there for a reason — the Politico article was less an interview than a characterization of an interview. No transcript or even extensive quotation, other than some snippets, most of which concern Lerner’s hurt feelings rather than the facts of what she did, what she knew, and when she knew it.

Here’s the conclusion to the Politico article:

But Lerner tears up describing how her legal team has become friends, willing to listen to her vent.

Then, in a flash, she’s defiant again, saying she’s “not going to let them ruin my life.”

They refuse to move from their home. And when Lerner leaves the house, she doesn’t try to hide by wearing sunglasses or a headscarf, though “someone told me maybe I should get a blond wig.”

Of course, that also means she can’t escape public humiliation when she is recognized. She’s been berated by strangers and told she is “going to be put away in the deepest, darkest dungeon, and they were going to lock me up and throw away the key.”

Maybe someday she’ll write a book. Maybe not. She doesn’t know when, or if, she’ll tell the full story of what happened, though she assures POLITICO that “you don’t hear half of what happened because they are picking and choosing.”

Asked what she’d say if she could tell the world anything, she reiterated her innocence. Then, as she starts to get up to walk away from the interview, she added: “And, oh, one more thing: I’m doing just fine.”

The Politico article has been excoriated as a puff piece, and that it is. But it’s more. It’s a reflection of how savvy Lerner is, how she is able to manipulate not just tax exempt approvals, but also the congressional oversight system.

Lerner knows that to a large extent congressional oversight and findings of contempt are empty threats.  So Lerner feels comfortable reading a statement professing her innocence while refusing to “testify,” and to spreading her word via Politico while never subjecting herself to proper cross-examination.

Lerner is the Imperial Bureaucrat, secure in the knowledge that she is all but untouchable in the warm embrace of a Democratic administration which sees not a smidgen of corruption despite the facts the administration itself has admitted or produced.

The Treasury Department Inspector General Report catalogued some of the abuses:

The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy position instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention. Ineffective management:

1) allowed inappropriate criteria to be developed and stay in place for more than 18 months,
2) resulted in substantial delays in processing certain applications, and
3) allowed unnecessary information requests to be issued

Liberal groups were not targeted this way, the IG admitted.

Yet, to the administration in which Lerner served, it’s all just a Republican conspiracy theory.

To the victims, it was very real.

Lerner was at the center of all this, but was careful to try to cover her tracks. Lerner told others “we need to be cautious about what we say in emails.”  The hunt for those missing, then not missing, then missing again, then not missing again emails has consumed congressional time and effort.

Lerner even contrived how the scandal was disclosed, planting a question at a Bar Association public meeting so that she could appear to have come clean voluntarily.

Lerner also made sure that “low level” employees in the Cincinnati office initially were blamed, while she knew better.

It’s said that in jest there is truth. Lerner joked how she hoped for a D.C. office job with a pro-Obama organizing group.

Lerner email Organizing for Action

Why isn’t Lois Lerner worried now? Why is there no contrition? Why does she feel safe talking to Politico?

Because Lerner knows that the Imperial Bureaucracy will protect one of its Imperial Bureaucrats.

And that there will be a job out there for Lerner with Democratic operative groups once this has all blown over.  After all, she has years of experience acting as a Democratic operative.


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