Lerner’s attorney addresses aspects of the lost Lois Lerner emails, some of the investigation of conservative groups and the Senator Grassley invitation inquiries
Poltico article about the statements by Lois Lerner’s attorney has some interesting takeaways — like she was an intense partisan, who was just doing her job for the IRS looking into conservatives and conservative groups — she kept no personal backup of what she did on her computer and it wasn’t her responsibility to do so; and if it was required by law to keep any backup, then somebody else at the IRS should have been doing it
[ NOTE: >>> See my comment below “BACKFILL: THE “HOW DID WE MISS THIS ?” EDITION – LA TIMES CALLS FOR AN ‘INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION’... Galewyn Massey... June 30, 2014 at 12:25 AM”]
Is this what Politico means by “fight[ing] back” ? “Lois Lerner has no records of two years of missing emails and Republican claims that she’s hiding something are “silly,” her lawyer said in his first interview since the controversy around the former IRS official erupted two weeks ago *** ‘She doesn’t know what happened,’ lawyer William Taylor III said of the 2011 computer crash that erased two years worth of Lerner’s correspondence. ‘It’s a little brazen to think she did this on purpose.’ ....” ( See “Lois Lerner fights back” by RACHAEL BADE, 6/27/14, Politico [http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/lois-lerner-irs-scandal-108399.html]). Needless to say, the title of the Lois Lerner piece is a bit of a stretch — not a word in it comes from her; it’s all from her attorney; and all of the supposed “fight[ing]” are well-parsed statements concerning Lois Lerner’s missing emails. the problematic inquiry into the invitations sent to Senator Grassley and his wife and some of the lingering questions about the IRS operation to closely scrutinize conservative groups that applied for various categories of tax exempt status. .
There is very little that is new in what attorney William Taylor had to say about the 2011 computer crash that erased two years worth of Lerner’s correspondence. However, there was something. — According to the Politico article posted by Ms. Bade, Lerner’s legal representative “...revealed that Lerner did not print official emails or have any saved on a backup computer....” and he specifically stated that “She didn’t have anything to do with the destruction of her computer.”
Politico gave this specific time line of the loss of Lerner’s emails: “Lerner came to work one day in late spring 2011 and was surprised to flick on her computer to find a “blue screen,” he said. He said she tried to get it fixed since her practice of archiving was to simply save things on her computer. Democrats have released emails showing Lerner contacting the IRS IT department to show she tried to resolve the problem. *** She never backed them up on a USB or separate hard drive, he said....” That passage in the Politico article ends with this very provocative observation, “[Lerner’s attorney’s description of her practices handling her emails ruled] out a line of questioning posed by House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) about whether Lerner could have the emails stored elsewhere on a portable device....” The article goes into very great detail on the issues surrounding the lost emails and Lerner’s attorney’s responses with respect to smoe of the questions raised, but it all seemed to be like a dog chasing its tail --- which might have been the real purpose of Lerner's lawyer's exercise.
The Senator Grassley matter was also mentioned by Lerner’s attorney and reported by Politico as follows: “Taylor said ... Lerner was simply suggesting a referral for the group [that sent the invitation], not the Iowa lawmaker. *** “You don’t refer people to the exempt organizations division,” he said, calling the accusations “false” and “irresponsible” on Ways and Means’ part. *** Lerner and Grassley were invited to speak at the same event in winter 2012, but their invitations were swapped by accident. Lerner recalls that the topic was on 501(c)(4) and the conference was at a “nice resort,” her lawyer said. *** The unnamed group offered to pay for Grassley’s wife to accompany him, something Lerner thought may have been improper. Her colleagues said it wasn’t and it appears she dropped it after that.”
Those few facile lines don’t quite cover the multitude of possible sins by Lerner involved in her raising the Grassley issue(s) for further investigation inside the IRS. Come to think of it, what Mr. Taylor III had to say about the lost emails was also a little too cute.
Maybe, thinking that what it had reported about Lerner’s attorney’s remarks was a little too close to flacking ..., the Politico article also addressed this: “In most of her criticized email correspondence released thus far from GOP investigators, Lerner has referred to scrutinizing conservative groups, like Crossroads GPS, while at the same time joking with colleagues that she wanted to work for the pro-Obama group Organizing for America.” Lerner’s attorney’s response was that Lerner was just doing her job looking into the political activities of the rapidly rising number of conservative groups making application for tax exempt status. R-I-G-H-T !
The breaking news on this is that Lerner’s attorney also appeared on a Sunday morning news shows to say the same stuff as above.... Is this just Bill Taylor III trying to get his full fifteen minutes of fame, or is there something more going on ? One critical review of Taylor's appearance on CNN's "State of the Union" said this: "Taylor’s defense of his client is based on the notion that Lerner is the real victim of targeting here. *** 'She was as upset as anybody else was about the loss of the emails and the other documents which were on the[re] which were quite important to her,' Taylor said of what even Candy Crowley called the “suspicious” disappearance of two years’ of email records...." (See " ‘Phony scandals’ and an election year ‘demon’: Lois Lerner’s unconvincing defenders" by Noah Rothman, 6/29/14, Hot Air Blog [http://hotair.com/archives/2014/06/29/attorney-gop-creating-election-year-demon-of-lois-lerner-and-irs/]).