New documents show former IRS worker Lois Lerner likely broke the law when she transferred 1.25 million pages of tax returns in 2010 to the Department of Justice.
According to National Review
, Lerner — who at the time was the director of the Exempt Organizations Unit at the IRS — ordered the transfer of the tax returns. The returns were mostly from nonprofits, and the transfer occurred before a meeting during which Lerner and other IRS employees talked about the political activities of the groups.
Contained in the documents was confidential information about the taxpayers.
Lerner was at the center of the IRS' scandal during which it was accused of singling out conservative groups, and she resigned from the organization in 2013.
"It took an organization over 50 months of investigation and multiple lawsuits to get clarity on the IRS's own compliance with the rules it enforces against others," Dan Epstein, executive director of the Cause of Action Institute, told National Review.
Epstein is also a former attorney for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
"The IRS, in the midst of its political targeting of groups engaged in policy advocacy, was engaging in the disclosure of millions of records aimed at ginning up prosecutions of these groups without going through the legally required channels."
It's against federal law for the IRS to share tax returns in most instances. National Review reports that the transfer of returns ordered by Lerner was, in fact, illegal.
Last fall, the Department of Justice said it will not charge Lerner
for her role in the IRS scandal. The investigation found that, among other things, Lerner used a personal email account
for agency business.
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