Politics
              In this May 22, 2013, photo, Lois Lerner listens on Capitol Hill in Washington. A GOP Congressman has proposed legislation that would make refusing to testify in front of Congress, as Lerner did, a fireable offense for federal employees. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Lerner used personal email for IRS business, say lawmakers

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

The Oversight Committee wants Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner to turn over emails sent from her personal account that they say may pertain to her official duties at the IRS.

A letter sent Tuesday by Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Rep. Jim Jordan, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs, requests that Lerner turn over emails sent to or from her personal “msn.com” email address that might pertain to their investigation into the IRS’s inappropriate scrutiny of groups based on their political leanings.

Lerner headed the unit of the IRS charged with dealing with those tax-exempt organizations.

“Through the course of the investigation, we have learned that you sent documents related to your official duties from your official IRS e-mail account to an msn.com e-mail account labeled ‘Lois Home,’” the letter says. “This raises some serious questions concerning your use of a non-official e-mail account to conduct official business.”

Issa and Jordan requested that she turn over any such emails sent between January 1, 2008 and now related to her official duties that might be in personal email accounts, saying that such documents might be relevant to their ongoing investigation.

The use of a personal email, the congressmen write, also raises issues of compliance with the Freedom of Information Act and “frustrates congressional oversight obligations.”

The investigation has faded from the center stage over the past several weeks, but new revelations are reviving the scandal.

Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp and Subcommittee on Oversight Chairman Charles Boustany sent a letter Monday requesting that the IRS cease flagging organizations with phrases like “tea party” in the title for increased scrutiny, after an interview with an IRS employee two weeks ago suggested that such criteria was still being used.

Democrats said Republicans had not given all the context in releasing a piece of the interview transcript. Democratic ranking member Sander Levin said they were “trying to twist the facts to fit their political narrative” in a statement.

Follow Alexis on Twitter