Sponsored Content
« Monday Morning News Dump | Main | David Brooks: "New Media" Has "Plateaued," As Audiences Return Once Again to Professional Media Writers of "Quality" and "Authority" »
August 12, 2013

NRO Argues That Lois Lerner's Coordination with the FEC May Have Been a Felony

Phony scandals keep rolling along.

E-mail correspondence unearthed by the House Ways and Means Committee reveals that Lois Lerner, the figure at the center of the scandal, may have committed a felony by divulging information about a conservative group to the Federal Election Commission, in an incident that dates back at least to 2008, before President Obama took office. Though some conservatives have eagerly sought evidence that Obama’s White House instigated the IRS’s targeting of tea-party groups, the latest evidence suggests that an anti-conservative bias may instead be an endemic feature of the federal bureaucracy. And now, an FEC official is raising the specter of systemic bias at that agency, too, calling the techniques its lawyers employ a “much more sophisticated way” of discriminating against conservative groups than those used by the IRS.

“When we spoke last July, you had told us that the American Future Fund had not received an exemption letter from the IRS,” an FEC attorney wrote in a February 2009 e-mail to Lerner.

But Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code provides that both “return information” and “taxpayer return information” are strictly confidential. An IRS source tells National Review Online that, within the agency, disclosing the information that Lerner appears to have provided is considered “a violation of Section 6103.”

That’s a felony punishable by up to $5,000 in fines or five years in prison. If found guilty of such a violation, Lerner, who has been on paid administrative leave since May, would also lose her job: “If such offense is committed by any officer or employee of the United States,” the law reads, he shall “be dismissed from office or discharged from employment upon conviction for such offense.”

Tax-law experts, however, disagree about whether Lerner’s apparent disclosure was a violation of Section 6103. Steven Willis, a professor of tax law at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law, argues that it was. The law “does not allow for disclosure of pending applications,” Willis says, and though he acknowledges that the law is a “technicality,” he maintains that Lerner’s violation is something more serious. “In her position as director of Exempt Organizations, Ms. Lerner would surely have been aware of section 6103,” Willis tells me. “She would have had responsibility to ensure that employees who reported to her not violate the sections.” Further, her role as a senior IRS official “adds to the seriousness.”

However, it’s not clear that Lerner disclosed anything that could not have been inferred from information otherwise available to the FEC. Attorneys at that agency knew, based on information provided by the American Future Fund, that the group had applied for tax exemption.

digg this
posted by Ace at 12:32 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Notsothoreau: "Not true. Anyone can keep up with an old golden. T ..."

Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere [/i] [/b]: "OT: I'm not thrilled with my "smart" TV. The inte ..."

Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere [/i] [/b]: "Mindful, Stirling managed to pull a tiny tuft of f ..."

Captain Obvious, Laird o' the Sea, Radioactive Knight: "Why do Swiss people yodel ? How did THAT get st ..."

JT: "Why do Swiss people yodel ? How did THAT get st ..."

mindful webworker - scritching behind the ears: "Yaaaay Pet Thread Daisy the overly affectionate ..."

Pat*: "Boise area: Sad the eggshell trick won't work, sho ..."

Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere [/i] [/b]: "Stirling and Dagny are doing well. Stirling now r ..."

REDACTED: "never met an I robot that was a match for a golden ..."

REDACTED: "I have had many goldens and I loved them terribly ..."

Wolfus Aurelius, Dreaming of Elsewhere [/i] [/b]: "[i]Happy Caturday everyone I do like stories of ..."

Aetius451AD: "Thanks. The penguin weighing video made me laugh m ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64