(Washington, DC) - The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which represents 41 organizations in a federal lawsuit challenging the IRS, said today it has sent letters to federal agencies and a number of Democrat lawmakers requesting that they preserve any and all communications they have had with former top IRS official Lois Lerner. The action comes following an IRS assertion that it has “lost” two years of emails from Lerner who is at the heart of the unlawful IRS scheme targeting conservative and Tea Party groups.
The ACLJ action also comes as new reports reveal that in addition to Lerner’s missing emails; the IRS now says it can’t produce emails from six more employees involved in the targeting of conservative groups – including Nikole Flax, the chief of staff to former IRS commissioner Steven Miller.
“The Obama Administration’s IRS continues to spin an unbelievable tale that is simply absurd,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “The disappearing emails will not prevent us from pursuing the evidence that we know exists – evidence that shows a well-orchestrated effort to unlawfully target groups because of their political beliefs. We know that Lois Lerner communicated with outside agencies and lawmakers on the Hill. That is why we are demanding that these agencies and lawmakers preserve any and all communications they have had with Lerner. We intend to get to the bottom of this scheme through our lawsuit.”
The ACLJ has sent letters to government attorneys requesting that the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Election Commission, and the White House “take the necessary steps to ensure preservation of any and all communications” between the agencies and Lerner or any other IRS official in the Exempt Organizations office between January 2009 and the present.
The same request is being sent to a number of Democrat lawmakers who are mentioned in the ACLJ's lawsuit based on prior correspondence with the IRS and/or public statements supportive of IRS scrutiny and investigation of 501(c)(4) organizations.
Letters are being sent to former U.S. Senator Max Baucus, and these current members of the Senate: Michael Bennet, Dick Durbin, Al Franken, Carl Levin, Jeff Merkley, Chuck Schumer, Jeanne Shaheen, Tom Udall, and Sheldon Whitehouse. In addition, letters are being sent to these members of the U.S. House of Representatives: Jim McGovern, Chris Van Hollen, and Peter Welch.
Sekulow added: “We remain committed to unearthing the ‘lost’ emails from Lerner – and as we learned today – from six other IRS officials involved in the scheme. It is troubling to see a brazen, out-of-control IRS utilizing increasingly unbelievable stonewalling tactics to cover-up the truth from the American people. We will not permit that to occur.”
The ACLJ continues to review all legal options to obtain these emails from other sources, which could include additional court filings.
The ACLJ’s federal lawsuit is progressing. The ACLJ represents 41 organizations in 22 states. Of the 41 groups, 26 organizations received tax-exempt status after lengthy delays, 9 are still pending, 5 withdrew applications because of frustration with the IRS process, and 1 had their file closed by the IRS after refusing to answer the unconstitutional requests for more information.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), focusing on constitutional law, is based in Washington, D.C.
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