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“About Those New Lois Lerner Emails…”: As With Previous “Smoking Guns”, The Truth Is Not Nearly So Outrageous

If the Ways and Means investigation into Lois Lerner had really and truly uncovered a “push to audit Senator Chuck Grassley,” then the Republican Party might finally have had the scandal it was so sure it would eventually find.

Yet as with previous smoking guns in the never-ended Internal Revenue Service story, the truth is not nearly so outrageous.

The supposed targeting of Tea Party groups actually involved keyword searches that included liberal groups, as well. And the supposed “push” was actually more of an aborted nudge.

Here’s what happened. Ms. Lerner received an invitation to an event intended for Mr. Grassley. Ms. Lerner sent an email to a colleague, Matthew Giuliano, wondering if the invitation were kosher, and asked if the issue should be referred for examination. The colleague suggested it should not, and Ms. Lerner backed off.

You can read the full e-mail exchange here. Or read an excerpt below:

Lerner: Is this the one where we got the copy to Grassley? Did he get one to me? Looked like they were inappropriately offering to pay for his wife. Perhaps we should refer to Exam?

Giuliano: It is, and yes. Your and Grassley’s invitations were placed in each other’s envelopes. Not sure we should send to exam. I think the offer to pay for Grassley’s wife is income to Grassley, and not prohibited on its face … We would need to wait for: (i) Grassley to accept and attend the speaking arrangement; and (ii) then determine whether [blacked out] issues him a 1099. And even without the 1099, it would be Grassley who would need to report the income on his 1040.

Lerner: Thanks — don’t know why I thought it was a [blacked out] — maybe answer would be the same. Don’t think I want to be on stage with Grassley on this issue.

Ms. Lerner was maybe a little too eager to investigate Mr. Grassley, but once her colleague suggested there probably wasn’t any wrongdoing, she didn’t “push” or shove or anything of the sort. If we’re looking for a physical metaphor, what she did was turn around and walk away.

 

By: Juliet Lapidos, Taking Note, The Editors Blog, The New York Times, June 26, 2014

June 28, 2014 - Posted by | Chuck Grassley, Internal Revenue Service, Lois Lerner | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Uh oh, government official eager to do their job, such horror…

    Like

    Comment by List of X | June 28, 2014 | Reply


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