As the tedious process of sorting through three years’ worth of IRS emails continues, more evidence mounts showing how far-reaching and deliberate the cover-up actually was.

More of Lois Lerner’s emails show what she thought about the IRS criteria used in targeting Tea Party groups and other opponents of the President Obama. In one email, Lerner told Holly Paz she let some advisors look at some cases referred for further review who said:

We are all a bit concerned about the mention of specific Congress people, practitioners and political parties. Our filed folks are not as sensitive as we are to the fact that anything we write can be public–or at least be seen by Congress.

Her concern was not that such criteria were being used (we know that she was in full support of those BOLO – Be On the Lookout – lists), but that that information might become known to a public who wouldn’t understand. She enlisted several people to put together sensitivity training that would help limit information provided to Congress about non-profit classifications.

The latest findings also include “a remarkable Lerner email from 2013 in which she says she is willing to take the blame for not having provided sufficient direction to her underlings on how best to investigate the targeted groups.” (Apparently she changed her mind before she took her seat before Congress, because she certainly wasn’t accepting any blame there.)

Judicial Watch calls that January 31, 2013 e-mail the most extensive and detailed discussion from Lerner about the IRS scandal to date. It also shows that her concern was not with the propriety of what they were doing, but how their impropriety would appear to others. She wrote to a TIGTA investigator:

We feel your folks are being too narrow in their view and have decided that because of the language on the earlier BOLO [Be On the Lookout] list regarding Tea Party, everything that followed was tainted…They also don’t seem to be taking a big picture look at what we have done… When we describe that process, they acknowledge that that approach sounds reasonable, but seem to be saying that reasonableness is overshadowed by the fact that the criteria look bad to folks on the outside, so there is no way we could cure the initial bad impression.

We understand why the criteria might raise questions….So, I’m not sure how they [TIGTA] investigators are looking at we were politically motivated, or what they are looking for with regard to targeting. They didn’t seem to understand the difference between IRS acting in a politically motivated manner and front line staff people using less than stellar judgment. I am willing to take the blame for not having provided sufficient direction initially, which may have resulted in front line staff doing things that appeared to be politically motivated, but I am not on board that anything that occurred here shows that the IRS was politically motivated in the actions taken.

Judicial Watch is certain there are more revelations to come as they comb through thousands more IRS documents. They promise to “keep on doing what [the Department of] Justice and Congress won’t,” and get the American people the truth they deserve to know.

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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