Not even a little smidgen of a smidgen? Judicial Watch obtained 906 pages of newly recovered Lois Lerner emails from the IRS that are believed to recently have been recovered by the IRS’ internal watchdog – TIGTA.
The new documents show that Lois Lerner and other top officials in the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS, closely monitored and approved the controversial handling of tax-exempt applications by Tea Party organizations. The email prove all their efforts were going directly through Washington DC.
The documents show that Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lerner, sent a November 3, 2011, email documenting her concerns about the failure to process applications in a timely manner:
“I’m getting a little nervous about the amount we have on our plate and how we are handling. I know everyone is working hard and juggling, but I am wondering whether the juggling decisions are being made holistically enough. We have only so many resources and things will probably get worse going forward. I worry that decisions about how to use the resources are being made without all the information… Something that may not seem important in Cincinnati, may be crucial in DC. Similarly, DC may be prioritizing its work based on what is sitting in DC when something sitting in Cincinnati should be the focus of DC work.”
IRS Program Manager Cindy Thomas of the Cincinnati Exempt Organization office replied to Lerner a few hours later with an email detailing the pressure caused by the IRS’ Washington headquarters failure to move on the “advocacy cases.” Thomas warned of litigation and admitted that she authorized a letter for more information that was sent to one of the complaining groups to keep it from contacting Congress:
“The backlog of work involves advocacy organizations. As of about a month ago, there were 161 of these cases sitting idle and we probably have more by now. The control dates for these cases go back to the end of 2009 and all through 2010. We’ve been waiting for EO in D.C. to get us a guidance/reference document with lessons learned from the c4 and c3 cases they worked and coordinated with Judy Kindell and Counsel. We’re getting calls from POAs wanting to know who has put the halt on working these cases and threatening to contact their Congressional offices. Just today, I instructed one of my managers to get an additional information letter out to one of these organizations — if nothing else to buy time so he didn’t contact his Congressional Office. Soon, we’re going to start getting TAO’s [Taxpayer Assistance Orders] from TAS [Taxpayer Advocate Service] or declaratory judgment cases filed —- then, I guess everyone will decide its time to start moving the cases when we have mounds of additional paperwork to process along with the cases (adding even more work for us to do).”