Embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner is finally retiring from the scandal-plagued agency. Lerner has been on administrative leave since May.
Lerner, head of the IRS division Washington, D.C. tasked with evaluating tax-exempt nonprofit applications from groups, apologized in May for her division’s improper scrutiny of conservative and tea party groups between 2010 and 2012.
Lerner tried to plead the Fifth to avoid self-incrimination in congressional testimony, but the House Oversight Committee ruled that she waived her Fifth Amendment rights when she said “I have not broken any laws” before attempting her plea.
Then-acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller initially claimed that only two “rogue” Cincinnati-based IRS officials were responsible for the targeting, and The New York Times pushed that narrative with an article describing the “backwater” Cincinnati office to some kind of workplace sitcom environment.
At least five different IRS offices nationwide targeted conservatives, and the facts of the scandal quickly made their way to Washington, D.C. and to the office of IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, one of the two Obama appointees at the agency.
Emails released this month by the House Ways and Means Committee show Lerner appearing to collude with Democratic operatives and the Federal Elections Commission in 2011.
“Tea Party Matter very dangerous… Counsel and Judy Kindell need to be in on this one… Cincy should probably NOT have these cases,” Lerner said in a February 2011 email.
“Perhaps the FEC will save the day,” Lerner said in an email, responding to a complaint the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee registered with the Federal Elections Commission. The IRS and FEC reportedly collaborated on conservative targeting.
The Daily Caller wishes Lerner farewell, courtesy of good conservative Bob Hope and the lovely Shirley Ross: