An IRS official whose emails were “lost” visited the White House frequently during the agency’s targeting of conservatives and met with a top assistant to President Obama who exchanged confidential information on conservative groups with the IRS.
The IRS recently claimed that it lost emails from Nikole Flax, who served as chief of staff to former IRS commissioner Steven Miller. Flax was one of seven IRS employees including ex-official Lois Lerner whose emails to and from White House officials and other Obama administration agencies were purportedly deleted and could not be handed over to congressional investigators.
Flax held personal meetings with a top assistant to President Obama and also colluded with Lerner to prosecute conservative activists.
Flax made 31 visits to the White House between July 12, 2010 and May 8, 2013, according to White House visitor logs. Flax’s visits started in the early days of the IRS targeting program and ended just two days before the IRS scandal broke on May 10, 2013.
Flax met twice in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew, on Oct. 5, 2012 and Jan. 15, 2013.
Who is Jeanne Lambrew?
As The Daily Caller reported, Lambrew exchanged confidential taxpayer information on conservative groups with IRS official Sarah Hall Ingram in 2012 as the White House tried to figure out how to deal with a lawsuit filed by a religious organization fighting Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. Lambrew also hosted 155 of Ingram’s 165 White House visits.
Lambrew, who started working for Obama as a health policy adviser to the then-senator’s 2008 presidential campaign, is identified as the most powerful official within the White House on Obamacare implementation.
Flax, who also met frequently at the White House with Obamacare architect Zeke Emanuel, also exchanged emails with Lerner that implicated Flax in the conservative targeting.
On May 8, 2013, the day that Flax made her last recorded White House visit, Lerner sent Flax an email asking for advice about a plan to coordinate with the Department of Justice to criminally prosecute conservative activists.
“I think we should do it,” Flax replied on May 9. “also need to include CI [Criminal Investigation Division], which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC [Federal Election Commision]. Does it make sense to consider including them in this or keep it separate?”
The IRS’ loss of Flax’s emails drew unprecedented scorn from congressional investigators.
“Despite their attempt to bury the missing Lerner emails on page 15 of a 27 page letter that arrived late Friday, we now know documents from other central figures, like Nikole Flax, are missing,” House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Dave Camp and committee member Rep. Charles Boustany said in a statement. “The fact that Ms. Flax was a frequent visitor to the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building only raises more questions. Who was she visiting at the White House and what were they talking about? Was she updating the White House on the targeting or was she getting orders? These are answers we don’t yet have, because — surprise, surprise — a few computers crashed. Plot lines in Hollywood are more believable than what we are getting from this White House and the IRS.”