Emails show IRS targeted Senator Grassley for IRS audit - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Emails show IRS targeted Senator Grassley for IRS audit

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Emails uncovered and released Wednesday by Congressional investigators indicate the Internal Revenue Service targeted Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa for an internal audit, as part of its alleged targeting of conservative individuals and organizations.

Ways and Means Committee Chair, Rep. David Camp, R-Mich., says the committee reviewed emails, which show former IRS Chief, Lois Lerner, suggested Sen. Grassley be audited.

Committee Chairman Camp says the committee used authority allowed under Section 6103 to review the e-mails. Section 6103 allows the Committee to examine confidential taxpayer information.

The Committee says both Sen. Grassley and his wife, Barbara, signed a waiver allowing for the information to be made public.

Camp said, “We have seen a lot of unbelievable things in this investigation, but the fact that Lois Lerner attempted to initiate an apparently baseless IRS examination against a sitting Republican United States Senator is shocking.” The Ways and Means Committee published the emails late Wednesday.

The conservative Grassley is on the Senate Finance Committee, which is one of the congressional panels investigating the IRS in the alleged targeting scandal of conservatives and Tea Party associates.

According to a news release from Committee Chairman Camp, “At every turn, Lerner was using the IRS as a tool for political purposes in defiance of taxpayer rights. 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.”

Lerner reportedly got involved after she received an invitation to an event which was intended for Sen. Grassley. Instead of forwarding the invitation to Grassley's office, Lerner suggested to others in her office that perhaps Grassley should be referred for an audit.

Both Grassley and Lerner had been invited to speak at the event, but their tickets got mixed up, according to the Ways and Means Committee. Lerner reportedly was interested in auditing Grassley because the event organizers had talked of paying for Mrs. Grassley's travel expenses to the seminar. Neither Charles nor Barbara Grassley attended the event.

Sen. Grassley issued a statement Wednesday night, saying, “This kind of thing fuels the deep concerns many people have about political targeting by the IRS and by officials at the highest levels. It’s very troubling that a simple clerical mix-up could get a taxpayer immediately referred for an IRS exam without any due diligence from agency officials.”


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