Emails obtained by Judicial Watch through litigation confirm that Lois Lerner was in contact with DOJ officials about the possible criminal prosecution of tax-exempt entities two full years before what the IRS conceded was its “absolutely inappropriate” 2012 targeting of the organizations. On September 29, 2010, a DOJ official (whose name is redacted) emailed a staff assistant at the IRS (whose name is also redacted) as follows:
As we discussed this afternoon, we would like to invite Ms. Ingram [Sarah Hall Ingram former commissioner, IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities] to meet with us concerning 501(c)(4) issues, and propose next Friday at 10:00 a.m. We are located in the Bond Building, 12th Floor, New York Avenue, NW, Thank you for your assistance.
The document shows that the DOJ official setting up the meeting is with the Election Crimes Division of the Public Integrity Section of the DOJ’s Criminal Division. Judicial Watch believes the redacted name is Richard Pilger, Director of the Election Crimes Division. Copied on the email were DOJ’s Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith and Principal Deputy Chief Raymond Hulser.
Ingram was not available, the emails show, but she arranged for her deputy, Lois Lerner, then-Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations branch, to meet with the Election Crimes Division’s top prosecutor. Accordingly, on September 30, 2010, the prosecutor emailed Lerner as follows:
Hi Lois-It’s been a long time, and you might not remember me, I’ve taken on [REDACTED] duties. I’m looking forward to meeting you, Can we chat in advance? I’m a [REDACTED]
Lerner responded on October 2, 2010:
Sure-that’s a good Idea. I have a meeting out of the office Monday morning, but will try you when I get back sometime early afternoon. You can try me at 202 283-8848.
In 2013 testimony before the House Oversight Committee, the Director of the Election Crimes Division admitted that DOJ officials met with Lerner in October 2010. Thus, there is no doubt that Lerner’s meeting with the DOJ election law prosecutor occurred. Moreover, congressional investigators say that a Lerner email dated October 5, 2010 shows the IRS had sent the FBI and DOJ a “1.1 million page database of information from 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations” that contained confidential taxpayer information.
In the words of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, the late September/early October 2010 emails “dramatically show how the Justice Department is up to its neck in the IRS scandal and can’t be trusted to investigate crimes associated with the IRS abuses that targeted Obama’s critics.” And it’s not just the Justice Department that is up to its neck; it’s DOJ’s Public Integrity Section, the outfit that would ordinarily investigate the IRS abuses. “No wonder,” says Fitton, that “the Department of Justice under Eric Holder has done no serious investigation of the Obama IRS scandal.”
No wonder, indeed.