Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner sent confidential taxpayer information about nonprofit groups to the Federal Bureau of Investigation days before the 2010 midterm elections.
New emails provided by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for its investigation into the IRS targeting scandal show that the IRS sent 21 disks containing 1.1 million pages of information on groups to the FBI, which is overseen by DOJ, in October 2010.
DOJ has the authority to monitor elections nationwide. Lerner previously coordinated with DOJ in 2013 to attempt to prosecute conservative activist groups.
The Daily Caller previously reported that Lerner shared confidential taxpayer information on nonprofit groups with high-ranking White House officials Ellen Montz and Jeanne Lambrew in 2012. Lerner was held in contempt of Congress by a full House vote after stonewalling the chamber’s investigation into her improper targeting of conservative and tea party groups between 2010 and 2012.
“We were extremely troubled by this new information, and by the fact that the IRS has withheld it from the Committee for over a year,” House Oversight chairman Rep. Darrell Issa and Oversight member Rep. Jim Jordan wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. ”We were astonished to learn days ago from the Justice Department that these 21 disks contained confidential taxpayer information protected by federal law. We ask that you immediately produce all material explaining how these disks were prepared and transmitted to the FBI.”
“The IRS’s transmittal of this information to the FBI shows that the IRS took affirmative steps to provide sensitive evidentiary material to law-enforcement officials about the political speech of nonprofits,” Issa and Jordan wrote. ”At the very least, this information suggests that the IRS considered the political speech activities of nonprofits to be worthy of investigation by federal law-enforcement officials. The IRS apparently considered political speech by nonprofit groups to be so troublesome that it illegally assisted federal law-enforcement officials in assembling a massive database of the lawful political speech of thousands of American citizens, weeks before the 2010 midterm elections, using confidential taxpayer information.”