Watch: Lois Lerner Discusses Political Pressure on IRS in 2010
Lois Lerner didn’t plead the fifth in 2010 when she was caught on tape discussing political pressure at the IRS.
Newly uncovered video shows Lois Lerner discussing the political pressure that swirled around the IRS in 2010. Lerner says “everyone” was “screaming at” the IRS to stop the flood of money pouring into the 2010 elections through 501(c)(4) groups as a result of Citizens United.
Lerner spoke to a small group at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy on October 19, 2010, just two weeks before the wave election that brought the Tea Party and Republicans significant gains in Congress. During her appearance Lerner was asked about the flow of money from corporations to 501(c)(4) groups. “Everyone is up in arms because they don’t like it” Lerner replied, adding “Federal Election Commission can’t do anything about it; they want the IRS to fix the problem.”
Lerner goes on to outline the fact that 501(c)(4) organizations have the right to do “an ad that says vote for Joe Blow” so long as their primary activity is social welfare. However Lerner again emphasizes the political pressure the IRS was under at the time saying, “So everybody is screaming at us right now ‘Fix it now before the election. Can’t you see how much these people are spending?’” Lerner concludes by saying she won’t know if organizations have gone too far in campaigning until she looks at their “990s next year.”