Yesterday Cause of Action, along with Tea Party Patriots, sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the IRS seeking to discover who was responsible for the targeting of conservative groups and to determine how the IRS maintains records in (or not in) accordance with federal law.

On January 26, 2009, in one of President Obama’s first acts in office, the President issued an executive order to allow both incumbent and former Presidents to claim executive privilege on certain records they sought to protect.  Three years later, on August 24, 2012, the White House issued a Directive that “require[d] that to the fullest extent possible, agencies eliminate paper and use electronic recordkeeping.  It is applicable to all executive agencies and to all records, without regard to security classification or any other restriction.”  It is entirely possible that the IRS followed this Directive in a manner that violated the Federal Records Act.

“Because the White House may consult the Archivist of the United States and dispose of certain records, the White House’s inability to locate any emails from Lois Lerner during the time frame of her ‘lost’ emails doesn’t prove that no emails existed at one time.  The IRS follows different records preservation laws than the President. That is why access to these records are critical to determining who was responsible for targeting conservative groups,” said Cause of Action’s Executive Director Dan Epstein. “Accountability is unfortunately an uphill climb with this agency, but it is necessary to determine who, both within and without the IRS, is responsible for the political targeting that occurred against certain nonprofit groups. That is why we are seeking information on what and how the IRS retains in terms of data, emails, investigations, and protocol.”

06-23-2014 IRS FOIA Request Re Missing Lerner Emails by Cause of Action