House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa requested the testimony of White House Counsel’s Office lawyer Jennifer O’Connor at next Tuesday’s hearing on the IRS lost emails scandal.
Issa wrote a letter to O’Connor, who worked at the IRS in the first months of its conservative targeting scandal in 2013 and was promoted to the White House earlier this year, asking her to appear alongside IRS commissioner John Koskinen at Tuesday’s Oversight hearing. Issa made clear that he thinks O’Connor “knew or should have known” that ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s emails were missing.
The IRS claimed that it lost 24,000 of Lerner’s emails to and from other Obama administration agencies and the White House from 2009 to 2011, in addition to emails from six other IRS staffers. The emails are expected to be able to shed light on the IRS conservative targeting scandal that has plagued the Obama administration for more than a year.
“From May 2013 until November 2013, you served in a career position at the IRS as the Counselor to the Commissioner, with the primary task of ‘navigat[ing] the scandal over [the IRS’s] reviews of conservative organizations,’” Issa wrote.
“In this position, you had a direct and substantial role in the IRS’ response to congressional requests for documents, including documents sent or received by Ms. Lerner,” Issa wrote. “In fact, IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins, when asked who was supervising the collection of, ‘documents relating to the committee’s requests for material,’ responded ‘Tom Kane and Jennifer [O’Connor] are the two I would identify as the key supervisors.’”
“Given your prominent role in supervising the IRS’s document review and production processes, you likely knew or should have known that the IRS was missing a portion of e-mails sent or received by Ms. Lerner responsive to the Committee’s subpoena,” Issa wrote.