Obama Administration officials have become very adept at using secret identities and personal email addresses to escape oversight. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson did business under a false identity called “Richard Windsor.” Everyone who’s anyone in the Most Transparent Administration In History has a secret email address. It looks like IRS Tax Exempt Organizations kingpin Lois Lerner got in on the fun, too, using a personal email account with the sadly unimaginative alias “Lois Home” to send documents related to her official duties.
“Lois Home?” That’s the best you can do? Anthony Weiner sneers at your uninspired choice of pseudonym, Ms. Lerner. On the other hand, referring to her as “Lois Home” during future House Oversight hearings might help them move along faster, since every time Lois Lerner’s real name is spoken, lighting flashes and horses can be heard screaming in the distance.
Also unamused is House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), who sent Lerner a letter demanding she hand over “documents related to your official duties that are housed in non-official e-mail accounts.”
Documents produced by the IRS to the Committee include draft IRS documents you sent to a non-official, msn.com e-mail account from your official IRS.gov e-mail account. Moreover, the fact that it appears “Lois Home” is saved in your IRS e-mail account [Oh, snap! Rookie mistake! – ed.] raises concerns that you have sent IRS documents to at least one non-official e-mail address and that you may have conducted official business using non-official account(s). If so, additional documents related to the Committee’s investigation may exist in these non-official accounts over which you have some control, and the lack of access to this information prevents the Committee from fully assessing your actions.
Furthermore, the use of non-official e-mail accounts to conduct official business implicates federal records requirements. Use of a non-official e-mail account to conduct government business raises the prospect that records – as defined by the Federal Records Act – are not captured by official government e-mail archiving systems. [Have you checked with the National Security Agency, Rep. Issa? They’ve been capturing a lot of email lately. – ed.] It also creates difficulties in fulfilling the IRS’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act and other litigation requests. Your use of non-official e-mail accounts also frustrates congressional oversight obligations.
Issa gave Lerner until August 27 to hand over everything from Lerner’s personal email accounts related to her official duties, or anyone else’s official duties, at the IRS… or any other government agency. Hmm. I wonder if we might find a little traffic from the Federal Elections Commission in Lois Lerner’s electronic Chamber of Secrets?
Lerner should have plenty of free time to comply with this request, since as far as anyone knows, she’s still on paid administrative leave. According to the UK Daily Mail, watchdog group Judicial Watch is also interested in seeing those emails, and has begun gassing up its Freedom of Information Act jackhammer:
Asked Monday if the group had a FOIA request in process, a Judicial Watch spokesperson replied, ‘We do now.’
Tom Fitton, the group’s president, followed up, telling MailOnline that ‘getting documents from this administration is too often a cat-and-mouse game.’
‘It seems the misuse of personal email for the public’s business in order to avoid disclosure is the new “in thing” for members of the Obama administration.’
If there are any online video games that simulate cracking down on political dissidents, we should check to see if Lois Lerner has an account, and pull her chat logs to find out what she’s been discussing with her raid group.