Another Lois Lerner secret email account uncovered
Judicial Watch has uncovered a secret email account linked to official business that was used by Lois Lerner, the IRS executive who took the Fifth Amendment and retired to an estimated $100,000-a-year retirement income. The effect of using a secret email account – in this case, Lerner’s email account was in the name of Toby Miles – is to prevent Freedom of Information Act inquiries from uncovering the official information contained in the secret emails. In other words, it is a way for a government official to deny the public its right to see how the government is operating.
Stephen Dinan reports in the Washington Times:
Lois Lerner had yet another personal email account used to conduct some IRS business, the tax agency confirmed in a new court filing late Monday that further complicates the administration’s efforts to be transparent about Ms. Lerner’s actions during the tea party targeting scandal.
The IRS, years into the scandal investigation, has yet to turn over the official emails contained in the Toby Miles account to Judicial Watch, but the agency says that it is working toward doing so. The IRS’s lawyer, Jeffrey Klimas, may be playing it cute in the agency’s dealings with Judge Emmett Sullivan, the federal judge also handling Judicial Watch’s FOIA suit in the Hillary Clinton email scandal:
But in his court filing Mr. Klimas argued that the IRS had previously hinted there may be other personal email accounts, pointing back to a footnote in a letter attached to a June 27, 2014, brief that mentioned “documents located on her personal home computer and email on her personal email account.”
He altered that wording in his filing Monday, saying the database of Lerner emails turned over to Congress included messages from her “‘personal home computer and email on her personal email’ account(s).”
The existence of the email account came to light when the email address was included among recipients of official emails from Lerner already turned over to Judicial Watch.
There is now a pattern of three key officials – Hillary Clinton, Lois Lerner, and former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson – who used private email accounts to evade disclosure requirements and operate a secret government operation. Jackson notoriously adapted her dog’s name to send emails under an account name “Richard Windsor.”
Among the reforms that should be on the agenda of any GOP candidate is legislation terminating all pension payments to officials who evaded FOIA requirements or take the Fifth Amendment.