House Republicans released a blistering 48-page report on Tuesday detailing former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner's involvement in a scandal involving the alleged targeting of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status.
The report, released by Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), said Lerner "was extensively involved in targeting conservative-oriented tax-exempt applicants for inappropriate scrutiny," and said Lerner, "engaged in questionable tactics to target conservative groups" during her former role at the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).
Lerner took the Fifth Amendment last week when she went before the Committee to testify on her role but emails revealed in the report show that Lerner may have had her hands in all levels of the scandal.
According to the report, Lerner sent an email to her staff in February 2011, advising them that cases involving tea party applicants were "very dangerous," and explained that "Cincy should probably not have these cases."
But then in May 2013, Lerner told staff that a report was coming out about targeting of conservative groups, and that low level workers in Cincinnati were to blame.
Despite this, Democratic members of the Committee have criticized Tuesday's report.
Ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said, "While there is certainly evidence of mismanagement at the IRS, this partisan Republican staff report identifies absolutely no evidence to support the central Republican allegations in this investigation – that the White House directed this activity or that it was politically motivated."
The House is considering holding Lerner in contempt for her refusal to testify, meaning she could be arrested and tried.
In FOX19's commitment to balanced news, attempts were made to reach Lerner's attorney, William Taylor, for comment but were unable to reach him.
However, Taylor reportedly told the Washington Post that "as we have said, the majority has no interest in the facts. The facts interfere with keeping the conspiracy theory alive through the election cycle. It would be interesting to know who with any knowledge of the facts says Ms. Lerner did these things. There is not such a person."
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