Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), warned other IRS officials that lower-level employees “are not as sensitive as we are to the fact that anything we write can be public–or at least be seen by Congress,” according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch and released on Thursday.
In the latest batch of documents the IRS released to Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which the agency heavily redacted before handing over, Lerner proposed training to help IRS employees “understand the pitfalls” of discussing “specific Congress people, practitioners and political parties” in emails that could be “seen by Congress” or the public.
“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,” Lerner wrote in an email to Holly Paz, former director of the IRS Office of Rulings and Agreements, on Feb. 16, 2012.
“We talked with Nan and she thought it would be great if R & A could put together some training points to help them understand the potential pitfalls, as well as how to think about referrals,” Lerner continued.