Issa on IRS's Lerner: 'Did She Break the Law? As Far As I Can Tell, Yes, She Did'

By Ali Meyer | June 11, 2014 | 2:36 PM EDT

Former IRS official Lois Lerner in a photo from May 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

( -- Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said that former IRS official Lois Lerner  “broke the law” when she sent a database containing legally protected information of tax-exempt organizations to the FBI several weeks before the 2010 midterm elections.

At the Capitol on Tuesday, asked Issa, “Did Lois Lerner defy the law when she sent the database of sensitive taxpayer information of tax-exempt groups?”

Issa said, “You really want to rephrase your question. Did she break the law? As far as I can tell, yes, she did.”

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a press release on Monday, June 9,  revealing that the IRS sent a 1.1-million page database containing legally protected taxpayer information of tax-exempt organizations to the FBI in October 2010, several weeks before the midterm elections.

The Justice Department said  “it was informed by IRS officials that it [the database] contains legally protected taxpayer information that should not have ever been sent to the FBI and it now plans to return the full database to the IRS.”

In a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen demanding more information, Issa, along with Subcommittee Chairman of the Oversight Committee Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said, “The IRS’s transmittal of this information to the FBI shows that the IRS took affirmative steps to provide sensitive evidentiary material to law-enforcement officials about the political speech of nonprofits.”

The letter from Issa and Jordan requests that the IRS immediately provide an explanation as to why the disks and all information related were withheld from Congress, and requests all communication between the IRS and any other agency regarding the disks.