IRS' Lois Lerner Used Personal Email Accounts for Official Government Business

Katie Pavlich

8/13/2013 1:50:00 PM - Katie Pavlich
The Obama administration is notorious for using personal e-mail accounts, and even fake alias accounts, to conduct official government business as a way to avoid Freedom of Information Act laws and congressional investigations. This practice was used thousands of times by former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, DOJ Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer during Operation Fast and Furious and by recently confirmed Labor Secretary Tom Perez during his time as a DOJ Civil Rights Attorney to leak information about private businesses.

Now, we can add the IRS' Lois Lerner to the list. As a reminder, Lerner is in charge of tax exempt organizations and has been put on paid administrative leave after admitting the IRS inappropriately targeted conservative groups. Today, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa and Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan sent a letter to Lerner asking for emails related to official government business in her personal or non-governmental e-mail account.

"Through the course of the investigation, we have learned that you sent documents related to your official dendrites from your official IRS e-mail account to an msn.com e-mail account labeled 'Lois Home.' This raises some serious questions concerning your use of a non-official e-mail account to conduct official business. Accordingly, we write to request documents related to your official duties that are housed in non-official e-mail accounts," the letter states. "The use of non-official e-mail accounts to conduct official business implicates federal records requirements. Use of a non-official e-mail account to conduct government business raises the prospect that records -- as defined by the Federal Records Act -- are not captured by official government e-mail archiving systems. It also creates difficulties in fulfilling the IRS' obligations under the Freedom of Information Act and other litigation requests. You use of non-official e-mail account also frustrates congressional oversight obligations."

Lerner has until 5:00 p.m. on August 27, 2013 to comply.