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IRS planted scandal-breaking question as a preemptive strike

Lois Lerner and Celia Roady
Photo Credit: US News and World Report

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When things hit the fan for the Internal Revenue Service last week, a strategic decision was made to have a random tax lawyer ask a seemingly innocuous question and then have Lois Lerner answer with the bombshell admission that the IRS was targeting conservative groups.

The story of the IRS’s egregious targeting of tea party groups broke after the head of the tax-exempt organizations unit, Lois Lerner, answered a question from tax attorney Celia Roady on the shenanigans of her division that stunned a roomful of tax attorneys at an American Bar Association conference on May 10.

Roady’s question, “Lois, a few months ago there were some concerns about the IRS’s review of 501(c)(4) organizations, of applications from tea party organizations. I was just wondering if you could provide an update,” was actually planted by Lerner herself.

US News and World Report explained the circumstances:

Celia Roady, a prominent tax lawyer in the firm of Morgan Lewis, said she was called personally by Lois Lerner, the IRS head of the tax exempt division, on May 9.

“I received a call from Lois Lerner, who told me that she wanted to address an issue after her prepared remarks at the [American Bar Association] Tax Section’s Exempt Organizations Committee Meeting, and asked if I would pose a question to her after her remarks,” Roady said in a statement to U.S. News and World Report.

“I agreed to do so, and she then gave me the question that I asked at the meeting the next day. We had no discussion thereafter on the topic of the question, nor had we spoken about any of this before I received her call. She did not tell me, and I did not know, how she would answer the question.”

Acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller confirmed the question was planted in his testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee Friday.

In an exchange with Rep. Devin Nunes, Miller said, “it was a ‘prepared Q and A,’ and the question…had been discussed in advance as well,” The Daily Caller reported.

Miller also admitted the public confession was timed to coincide with the damning new Inspector General report that was coming out.


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