Newly released emails reveal that Lois Lerner specifically targeted Tea Party applications and ordered them to be put on hold until 2011.
Lerner called the conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status problematic in one 2011 email. According to the Washington Times:
“Tea Party Matter very dangerous,” Ms. Lerner wrote in the 2011 email, saying that those applications could end up being the “vehicle to go to court” to get more clarity on a 2010 Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance rules.
In another email, from 2012, Ms. Lerner acknowledges that the agency’s handling of the tax-exempt applications had been bungled at the beginning, though she said steps had been taken to correct problems.
Lerner told Congress in a testimony earlier this year that Tea Party groups were not specifically targeted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Numerous Tea Party and conservative groups claim that the IRS resorted to invasive measures to determine if the groups were qualified for tax-exempt status.