Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Kim Strassel lays out the latest development in the IRS targeting of conservative groups that sought nonprofit status. There now looks to be a link between the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the IRS, where Lois Lerner was in charge of the targeting of conservative groups. The story involves the American Issues Project, a conservative group.
Thanks to Congress’s newly released emails, we now know that FEC attorneys went to Ms. Lerner to pry out information about AIP—the organization the Obama campaign wanted targeted. An email from Feb. 3, 2009, shows an FEC attorney asking Ms. Lerner “whether the IRS had issued an exemption letter” to AIP, and requesting that she share “any information” on the group. Nine minutes after Ms. Lerner received this FEC email, she directed IRS attorneys to fulfill the request.
This matters because FEC staff didn’t have permission from the Commission to conduct this inquiry. It matters because the IRS is prohibited from sharing confidential information, even with the FEC. What the IRS divulged is unclear. Congressional investigators are demanding to see all communications between the IRS and FEC since 2008, and given that Ms. Lerner came out of the FEC’s office of the general counsel, that correspondence could prove illuminating.
I’m waiting to read/hear how this exchange will be blamed on “rogue agents.”