Rep. Issa: Lerner 'Broke Some Laws;' Emails Show Her Attorney 'Outright Lied a Number of Times'
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) had a testy interview with Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union" yesterday, where he asserted that Lois Lerner "broke some laws" and "sent 1.1 million tax records" with illegal confidential information "on conservative groups" to the Department of Justice.
Issa also claimed that Lerner's attorney has "said things and been not correct, or disingenuous, or outright lied a number of times, and it's been shown by e-mails."
After pointing out that although Lois Lerner's emails are missing due to her hard drive crash, 20,000 emails have been retrieved through other means, Candy Crowley asked: "Did Lois Lerner crash her own computer?"
"We will probably never know that - the drive is physically gone," Issa replied. "What we do know from the discovery we have gotten, from emails we've gotten from multiple sources, is she broke some regulations. She broke some laws. She sent - trying to get prosecution apparently - she sent 1.1 million tax records over to the Department of Justice, including inappropriate, or actually illegal 6103 disclosures on behalf of conservative groups."
"I don't think anyone has - on my committee has ever said she deliberately crashed her computer," Issa further elaborated. But, "Obviously, she had a - 30 years of experience. She knew under the Federal Records Act that she had an obligation for these documents to be preserved, these e-mails. And to not have print to paper, which is the policy that she had to know, is pretty hard to believe that there aren't paper copies. So, do I believe that she printed to paper? Yes. She's an attorney of long standing. And it's kind of hard to believe that you wouldn't cover with your own paper copies."
Crowley: "So you do believe that she printed the paper and has those documents? I think her attorney has already said she didn't."
Issa: "Well, her attorney has said things and been not correct, or disingenuous, or outright lied a number of times, and it's been shown by e-mails.
"Look, an attorney trying to get his client off the hook after flubbing the taking of the Fifth certainly will say and do a lot of things, but they're not held accountable. Ultimately, what we know is, the archivist said that the IRS failed to do what they were supposed to do in informing, failed to properly keep documents.
"And that has very little to do with the fundamental problem, which is Lois Lerner's unit headed by Lois Lerner and directed by Lois Lerner unfairly targeted and abused conservative groups for what they believed."
In the part of the interview that turned contentious, Crowley asked, "So, your one piece of proof - let me first ask you, has any of this been connected directly to the White House?"
"We have never looked for the White House, other than the White House is not cooperating and continues to not cooperate. But that's a given," Issa said.
"But no evidence linking any of this to the White House? So..." Crowley said.
"Well, I don't - but, Candy, I don't play the game of no evidence," Issa said. "That's what the commissioner played. 'I know of no violation.' What we do is, we follow the facts. As we get to the facts, we then follow additional facts. The facts show that William Taylor's client, Lois Lerner, is, in fact, pivotal to this unfairly treating conservative groups.
"We want to get that done and close it up. All this other information is part of what in Washington becomes interesting cover-up and diversion. The fact is, the IRS - we should all be scared, Candy, that the IRS can do this kind of unfair targeting to anybody."
Crowley: "So - but can you give me just the one fact that you go, here it is, here's our smoking gun, this proves Lerner targeted only conservative groups, singled them out, asked them inappropriate questions? Is there a single piece of evidence that you can show me right now?"
"We sent your people almost 400 pages of a report," Issa responded.
Watch the full interview above to see where the Committee's investigation stands.