Lois Lerner, the former IRS director accused of using her position to delay nonprofit applications to scores of conservative and tea party groups, has broken her wall of silence in a sit-down interview with Politico to say: “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“I’m proud of my career and the job I did for this country,” she told Politico.
Many in the United States — as well as Capitol Hill — disagree. Ms. Lerner, who’s no longer with the IRS, is having difficulty finding another place of employment, Politico reported. Meanwhile, her legal bills have been piling up, as she’s spent thousands of dollars defending herself against charges of a coverup in the IRS scandal.
But she’s far from asking for forgiveness.
“Regardless of whatever else happens, I know I did the best I could under the circumstances and am not sorry for anything I did,” Ms. Lerner, 63, said in the Politico report.
In May 2013, Ms. Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment to keep from answering questions from lawmakers about her alleged role in the IRS scandal and coverup — specifically whether IRS agents were giving extra scrutiny to nonprofit applications that contained words like “tea party” and “patriot,” Politico reported.
She subsequently refused to resign but was ordered by human resources to clean out her desk and leave her position, Politico reported.
“By taking the Fifth, Lois put a sign on her back: Kick me,” said Paul Streckfus, the editor of the EO Tax Journal, in Politico. “To the average person, that sounds like, ‘Oh my God, she must be hiding something.’ “