ULTIMATUM TO SHAHEEN AND SHEA-PORTER: RELEASE YOUR CORRESPONDENCES WITH THE IRS OR WE WILL BE FORCED TO SUE THE AGENCY
(August 27, 2014) - Today, Fox News is reporting that a senior IRS lawyer has acknowledged in a sworn declaration that Lois Lerner's Blackberry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun its probe into IRS targeting of conservative groups.
Last week, Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire announced that on July 23rd, the IRS finally responded to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by the organization on June 24, 2014. The request was issued based on the IRS's supposed "lost" emails on their irrevocably damaged computers.
In the letter responding to Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, the IRS wrote that they will not be able comply with our request in the '20 business-day period' as required by law. They extend the response period for an additional '10 days,' as allowed by statute. However, the letter continues by stating the need for even more time and will not comply until after October 23, 2014. The letter then goes on to inform us that we can file a suit after August 6, 2014 regarding their non-compliance.
The response we received from the IRS can be viewed here.
A copy of the original request was delivered to the to the offices of Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter on June 24, 2014, due to the fact that both Shaheen and Shea-Porterpublicly called on the IRS to target conservative groups during their tenure. We have not received a response from either of their offices. It is important to note that Congress has exempt itself from FIOA requests, so they legally do not have to respond to us - a luxury that average Americans do not have.
Today's news reports yield more proof that Lois Lerner deliberately worked to hide her targeting of conservative groups by destroying her Blackberry. Coupled with blatant stalling from the IRS to release correspondences with Senator Shaheen's offices and Congresswoman Shea-Porter's offices, we are calling on Shaheen and Shea-Porter, one last time, to be open and honest with their constituents and release all correspondences between their offices and the IRS. If they fail to do so, we will be forced to begin the process of taking legal action against the IRS on September 10, 2014.
Matthew Murphy, Executive Director for a Strong New Hampshire, released the following statement:
"The evidence is clear: At the bequest of liberal career politicians like Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, Lois Lerner and the IRS deliberately targeted conservative groups. However, now that they have been caught red-handed, in our Nation's Capitol, the IRS is stalling and destroying information. In New Hampshire, Senator Shaheen and Congresswoman Shea-Porter, who are hiding behind their exemption to FOIA requests, have ignored multiple pleas to release all correspondences between their offices and the IRS.
"Transparency is paramount in a well-functioning republic. Sadly though, for the same reason Shaheen and Shea-Porter will not hold town hall meetings with their constituents, they refuse to release their correspondences with the IRS. Once more, we are asking them to voluntarily release their email and phone records to save taxpayers the burden of a lawsuit. If they fail to comply, it is clear to us that Shaheen and Shea-Porter have something to hide and we will be forced to take legal action to provide their constituents the transparency they deserve."