Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner attempted to target Bristol Palin during her time as the head of the government agency’s Exempt Organizations Unit, according to a new bipartisan report from the Senate Finance Committee.
Documents contained in the congressional report indicate that Lerner mulled opening an audit into the compensation Palin received from the teen pregnancy charity Candie’s Foundation.
USA Today reports:
One email, cited by Chairman Orrin Hatch as an "example of Lerner’s interest in conservative organizations," asked whether the IRS should open an audit of Candie’s Foundation, which paid Palin $332,500 in compensation to be a celebrity spokesperson. Lerner was concerned that the salary figure could violate IRS rules against charitable groups being for the private benefit of individuals.
According to the report, Lerner wrote to her staff via email in 2011, "Thoughts on the Bristol Palin issue? I’m asking because I don’t know whether to send to Exam as a referral."
The daughter of 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Bristol became pregnant for the first time during her mother’s campaign. The 142-page congressional report does not indicate that an audit was opened into Palin’s compensation.
Among the two-year investigation’s key findings, it concluded that Lerner "failed to adequately manage" members of her staff processing applications from conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for two years beginning in 2010.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) slammed the White House in the wake of the report’s publication, accusing the Obama administration of misleading Congress and hiding evidence in an effort to conceal the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.
Multiple lawmakers have called for the removal of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for his hindering of the congressional investigation into the scandal.