Former IRS Attorney Donated $12,831 to Democrats

June 30, 2014 - 12:24 PM

o'connor, irs

White House Counsel Office attorney Jennifer O'Connor, who previously was an attorney at the IRS. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) -- Former IRS attorney Jennifer O’Connor, who now works in the White House Counsel’s office, donated a total of $12,831 to Democrat candidates and parties between 2008 and 2012, which included donations to the Barack Obama campaign and to the Hillary Clinton campaign, according to records from OpenSecrets.gov.

O’Connor made headlines when she evaded questions about the IRS-Tea Party scandal at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Tuesday, June 24.

Oversight Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) subpoenaed O’Connor to testify after the White House initially declined to make her available on a voluntary basis.

According to testimony from the IRS chief counsel Neil Eggleston, O’Connor was hired by the IRS for the sole purpose of overseeing the agency’s response to congressional investigations of the IRS targeting scandal.

O’Connor, who now works in the White House Counsel Office, was an IRS attorney, a former Clinton administration aide, and a former attorney at WilmerHale, a prominent legal firm with offices worldwide. While at WilmerHale, O’Connor donated $12,831 to Democrat candidates and parties, according to Open Secrets records.

o'connor, irs

Political contributions made by Jennifer O'Connor between 2008 and 2012, as documented by OpenSecrets.org.

The Wall Street Journal confirmed in May 2013 that the same Jennifer O’Connor who worked at the IRS also worked at WilmerHale. “More personnel news from the Internal Revenue Service: The agency is hiring former Clinton administration aide Jennifer O’Connor to help it navigate the scandal over its reviews of conservative organizations,” reported The Journal. “More recently she has been a Washington lawyer at WilmerHale, leading the firm’s False Claims Act practice and representing companies such as Purdue Pharma LP.”

As records from OpenSecrets.org show, O’Connor donated $2,500 to the Barack Obama campaign on September 24, 2012. She also donated $1,000 to Hillary Clinton in January 2008;  $1,000 to Rep. Steve Kagan (D-Wisc.) in 2010; and $6,831 in total to the Democratic parties of Ohio, Nevada, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nevada and Iowa.

O’Connor also donated $1,250 to the Democratic Executive Committee of Florida in September 2012, and $250 to the New Hampshire Democratic State Committee that same September. Her total political contributions equal $12,831.

At the hearing, O’Connor refused to answer questions from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) regarding people she had worked with during her time at the IRS.

“Why are you being so elusive?” Chaffetz asked O’Connor. “You named three people that you report to. I want to hear people that you asked questions to -- that ran, got the information and then came back and gave you information. Name one person in that category.”

Issa interrupted the exchange saying, “Mr. Chairman, you know, I think you may be unfair to the witness.” He then noted that, the night before, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen could not remember when he was told about Lois Lerner’s missing emails – nor could Koskinen remember who at the IRS told him about them.

“I think that, in fact, the ability to remember at the IRS is simply limited,” Issa said.