John McCain Staffer Suggested Lois Lerner to Ruin Tea Party Groups

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

The John McCain staffer said that the IRS could target groups in ways that would be “financially ruinous.”

The John McCain staffer was Henry Kerner, former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee. If Judicial Watch is right, Lois Lerner may have received secret bipartisan support for her witch hunt of the Tea Party.

As the Conservative Tree House writes:

The motives were simple. The GOPe [GOP establisment] leadership were being challenged by Tea Party primary candidates. Power was being confronted. The professional republican party was in full alignment with the Obama administration in removing the existential threat represented by the challenge to their political power and incumbency. McConnell, Hatch, Burr, Graham, McCain, Cornyn, Corker et al, were willing to do anything and everything to get rid of the challenges to their political power.

They say a lot more in their post. Read the whole thing.

Judicial Watch alleges, “Judicial Watch Obtains IRS Documents Revealing McCain’s Subcommittee Staff Director Urged IRS to Engage in “Financially Ruinous” Targeting.”

Judicial Watch today released newly obtained internal IRS documents, including material revealing that Sen. John McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, urged top IRS officials, including then-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner, to “audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.”  Kerner was appointed by President Trump as Special Counsel for the United States Office of Special Counsel.

The explosive exchange was contained in notes taken by IRS employees at an April 30, 2013, meeting between Kerner, Lerner, and other high-ranking IRS officials. Just ten days following the meeting, former IRS director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner admitted that the IRS had a policy of improperly and deliberately delaying applications for tax-exempt status from conservative non-profit groups.

Lerner and other IRS officials met with select top staffers from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in a “marathon” meeting to discuss concerns raised by both Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that the IRS was not reining in political advocacy groups in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.  Senator McCain had been the chief sponsor of the McCain-Feingold Act and called the Citizens United decision, which overturned portions of the Act, one of the “worst decisions I have ever seen.”

In the full notes of an April 30 meeting, McCain’s high-ranking staffer Kerner recommends harassing non-profit groups until they are unable to continue operating. Kerner tells Lerner, Steve Miller, then chief of staff to IRS commissioner, Nikole Flax, and other IRS officials, “Maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous.” In response, Lerner responded that “it is her job to oversee it all.”

Read the full Judicial Watch report.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

Don't Miss Out!!

Get your daily dose of Eagle Rising by entering your email address below.

Our Privacy Policy has been updated to support the latest regulations.Click to learn more.×
STAY IN THE LOOP
Don't miss a thing. Sign up for our email newsletter to become an insider.

Send this to a friend