Cleta Mitchell: Lerner Talked to IRS Investigators, But Not Congress

Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 09:47 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Former IRS official Lois Lerner talked to investigators probing the IRS targeting of conservative groups, but would not talk to Congress about the issue, said Washington-based lawyer Cleta Mitchell.

Mitchell, who represents some of the tea party groups targeted by the IRS, told "Fox & Friends" what further concerned her about the FBI and Department of Justice investigations was that investigators began by talking to agency employees and bureaucrats, rather than the victims of the targeting.

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Investigators "started with interviewing the bureaucrats and the employees of the IRS, including Lois Lerner, who talked to them, but she won't talk to Congress," Mitchell said Wednesday.

Because investigators started with "the perpetrators rather than the victims," Mitchell said it was difficult for them to overcome "bias on their part."

Investigators had only spoken to lawyers for tea party groups that had filed lawsuits against the IRS, while there were "hundreds of organizations" that were targeted, Mitchell explained.

She said, to her knowledge, investigators had "made little effort to reach out and really talk to all the victims, all of them."

Mitchell described her first meeting with Barbara Bosserman, the lawyer leading the Department of Justice's investigation. The Justice Department received criticism for naming Bosserman to the probe because she has donated money to President Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates.

The one question Mitchell said Bosserman asked her was if liberal groups participated in a February 2012 conference call she had with conservative organizations that had received "onerous, oppressive, intrusive questionnaires from the IRS."

"I said, well, no. First of all, they didn't get those questionnaires," Mitchell said. "The fact that she believed that liberal groups received those questionnaires was stunning to me because they did not receive those. Only the conservative groups got those."

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