CNN Panel: Lerner's Grassley Email Suggests IRS Was On a 'Political Witch-Hunt'

Julie Pace: 'If this is something that's in the emails that we have, what's in the emails that have disappeared?'

A CNN panel slammed Lois Lerner for attempting to target Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) with an audit, saying it adds to suspicions that the IRS was on a "political witch-hunt."

Congressional investigators discovered emails Wednesday between Lois Lerner and another IRS official, where Lerner revealed that she had accidentally been sent an invitation to an event meant for Grassley. The event organizer had offered to pay for Grassley's wife. Since this was potential inappropriate behavior, Lerner asked her colleague if they could audit him. The colleague told her they could not audit without knowing whether Grassley had even taken the event organizer's offer.

On CNN's New Day, Politico's Manu Raju said this new evidence "Fuels the suspicion that there was actually a political witch-hunt motivated by politics, going after conservative groups, a conservative senator right now, one who's a very high ranking member of the Finance Committee which oversees the IRS."

"This does not help her case," John King observed, "which is already pretty bad to begin with."

King also said this "Makes it hard for the White House to say 'This is Republicans trying to make a big partisan issue out of a mistake.'"

Julie Pace added that it also provokes questions surrounding Lois Lerner's mysteriously missing emails: "If this is something that's in the emails that we have, what's in the emails that have disappeared, that don't exist anymore? And it provides some actual tangible fodder for these hearings that are going to be happening on the Hill."

Published under: CNN , IRS , Lois Lerner