The information, sent via email, to the FEC came in response to the organization’s questions about whether the IRS had granted tax-exempt status to the Tea Party groups. It is unclear how the information the IRS sent was going to help the FEC, since the IRS hadn’t determined the tax status of the groups yet.
That’s because this wasn’t about their tax status, it was about their donors and silencing them for 2012.
Original Judicial Watch report here.
The revealing email chain obtained by Judicial Watch begins with a February 3, 2009, email from a redacted FEC attorney asking Lerner if the IRS had issued an exemption letter for American Future Fund (AFF). The writer of the letter notes, “When we spoke last July, you told us that the American Future Fund had not received an exemption letter from the IRS.” In the same email, the FEC attorney asked Lerner if she could also advise him if the IRS had granted an exemption letter to American Issues Project (AIP) as well as to AIP’s predecessor organizations, Citizens for the Republic (CFTR) and Avenger, Inc. (AIP).
In her response sent ten minutes later from her irs.gov email address, Lerner indicated that she would require her staff to cooperate fully, saying, “I have sent your email out to some of my staff. Will get back to you as soon as I have heard from them.”