Judicial Watch announced Monday that a U.S. federal judge has ordered the IRS to provide an answer for the missing Lois Lerner emails — by this Friday, June 12. This is another positive step to have the IRS and the Obama Administration finally answer to the American people. Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the watchdog group’s request to issue an order requiring the IRS to answer for the status of the likely damaging Lois Lerner emails by June 12, 2015.
“The Obama IRS obstructed and lied to a federal judge and Judicial Watch in an effort to hide the truth about Lois Lerner’s emails,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The IRS, including its top political appointees IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and General Counsel William J. Wilkins, has much to answer for over its contempt of court and of Congress.
It took all of two days for the judge to approve the request, which was actually filed on June 2 and approved on June 4 by Judicial Watch, who raised questions about the IRS’ handling of the missing emails.
“The IRS is directed to respond to [Judicial Watch’s] notice by no later than June 12, 2015,” Judge Sullivan ordered.
The group, the Congress and now apparently the judge, all are either suspicious or convinced that the IRS lied by withholding the truth about the existence and content of the backup tapes. In fact, despite testimony by Commissioner Koskinen that Lerner’s emails had been destroyed behind recovery, an investigation conducted by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) uncovered material previously claimed to be lost.
“And the Department of Justice officials enabling this cover-up in court need to be held accountable, as well,” Fitton added. “The IRS is out of control and Judicial Watch is happy that Judge Sullivan has taken this key step to remind the agency that it is accountable to the rule of law and the American people.”
Recent emails obtained by Judicial Watch and shared with PPD revealed Lerner was “willing to take the blame” for the inappropriate targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups. However, as was the case in previously obtained emails, Lerner was well-aware of how the targeting practice “might raise questions” and attempted to keep information from Congress and investigators from the TIGTA.
President Obama had claimed during a previous interview with Bill O’Reilly that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” involved at the IRS.
“That’s not what happened,” Obama told O’Reilly when asked if mass corruption was at play. “There were some bone-headed decisions. Not even mass corruption. Not even a smidgen of corruption.”
However, according to newly obtained emails, including an email from Lerner in February 2012 asking that a program be set up to “put together some training points to help them [IRS staffers] understand the potential pitfalls” of revealing too much information to Congress, clearly suggest otherwise.