Ways and Means Chairman Threatens IRS With Subpoena
Impatient with the Internal Revenue Service’s cooperation on document disclosure, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., on Monday wrote to IRS chief John Koskinen to pressure the tax agency to turn over more documents related to last year’s scandal over the alleged targeting of mostly conservative nonprofit groups.
Amid six separate investigations of the IRS Exempt Organizations division’s mishandling of applications for tax-exempt status in recent years, Camp had told the newly-installed Koskinen at a Feb. 5 hearing that he was still expecting several types of documents related to Lois Lerner, the now-departed head of the Exempt Organizations division. “If the IRS doesn’t take immediate steps to provide the committee with documents responsive to this request,” Camp wrote in a Feb. 24 letter, “I will consider using compulsory process to compel them.”
Lerner who, having invoked her Fifth Amendment rights before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last May, hasn’t publicly discussed her role in the controversy. The mostly conservative nonprofit groups involved were singled out for process delays and greater scrutiny of their applications for status as social welfare, rather than political, groups based on their organization names and rhetoric. Lerner left government in September 2013.
“It has been almost eight months since I wrote acting Commissioner [Danny] Werfel to request, among other things, all Lois Lerner emails starting from Jan. 1, 2009,” Camp wrote. “To date the committee has received only those Lerner documents from this period that include one or more search terms and limited to the determinations process. Given emerging evidence of Lerner’s central role in targeting not just through the determinations process, but also in the examinations, appeals and rulemaking processes, all Lerner documents during this period are pertinent to this investigation.”
The IRS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Koskinen at the Feb. 5 hearing said he hoped to achieve closure on the documents issue soon.
House Republicans have two more hearings on the IRS controversy scheduled for this week.