House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said Wednesday that former IRS official Lois Lerner suggested investigating Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) before she was forced to leave her position due to the IRS targeting scandal.
According to documents unearthed by Camp, Lerner received an invitation to speak at an event that was intended for Grassley.
Emails show former IRS official Lois Lerner pondered an investigation into Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) for attending an event with his wife, whose participation would be paid for. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Lerner informed the group of the mistake, but then wrote to a colleague: "Looked like they were inappropriately offering to pay for his wife. Perhaps we should refer to Exam?"
That questioned prompted another IRS official to respond that paying for Grassley's wife to attend is income for Grassley, and is "not prohibited on its face." The followup email said the proper procedure would be to see if the group files a 1099 form to report the "income" Grassley earned, and see if Grassley reported that income in his annual tax filing.
Lerner replied by saying "thanks," and added, "Don't think I want to be on stage with Grassley on this issue." The emails are redacted and don't make it clear at what event they both might have spoken.
Camp said it is "shocking" that Lerner would use the email mix-up as a way to attack Grassley.
"At every turn, Lerner was using the IRS as a tool for political purposes in defiance of taxpayer rights," he said. "We may never know the full extent of the abuse since the IRS conveniently lost two years of Lerner emails, not to mention those of other key figures in this scandal.
"The fact that DOJ refuses to investigate the IRS's abuses or appoint a special counsel demonstrates, yet again, this administration's unwillingness to uphold the rule of law."
Read the Lerner emails here: