#IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: House Republicans Intensify Probe Into IRS

The potential Justice Department role emerged last week, when a conservative group, Judicial Watch, released a batch of emails showing that a Justice official last year talked with a top IRS official, Lois Lerner, about seeking criminal prosecutions of some politically active tax-exempt groups. The Justice official was following up on an idea publicly floated by Democratic lawmakers, who believed some groups were abusing their tax-exempt status.

GOP lawmakers said on Wednesday in a news release that a previously undisclosed email suggests the Justice official who contacted Ms. Lerner was doing so at the request of someone else. According to the GOP release, Richard Pilger, director of the Justice Department’s election crimes branch, “noted via e-mail to Lerner on May 8th 2013, `I have been asked to run something by you.’” The release says that the e-mail does not indicate who had asked Mr. Pilfer to contact Ms. Lerner. She is at the center of congressional investigations into the IRS targeting of conservative tea-party groups.