Issa Requests White House Attorney’s Testimony on Lerner Emails

Published: Jun 19, 2014

Committee seeks answers from current White House attorney who supervised IRS’s response to congressional inquiry

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., today requested that Ms. Jennifer O’Connor of the White House Counsel’s office testify on Tuesday, following Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen’s testimony on Monday.

“From May 2013 until November 2013, you served in a career position at the IRS as the Counselor to the Commissioner, with the primary task of ‘navigat[ing] the scandal over [the IRS’s] reviews of conservative organizations,’” said Issa in the letter. “In this position, you had a direct and substantial role in the IRS’s response to congressional requests for documents, including documents sent or received by Ms. Lerner.  In fact, IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins, when asked who was supervising the collection of, ‘documents relating to the committee’s requests for material,’ responded ‘Tom Kane and Jennifer [O’Connor] are the two I would identify as the key supervisors.’ Given your prominent role in supervising the IRS’s document review and production processes, you likely knew or should have known that the IRS was missing a portion of e-mails sent or received by Ms. Lerner responsive to the Committee’s subpoena.”

Ms. O’Connor earned a promotion to the White House earlier this year. The Oversight Committee had previously subpoenaed Koskinen for testimony which comes as a result of the agency’s recent statement that the IRS lost an unknown number of emails pertaining to the activities of former IRS official Lois Lerner from January 2009 to April 2011. It also comes on the heels of the IRS’s repeated empty promises of compliance with oversight.

Read the letter here.