House Oversight Committee Subpoenas White House Official in IRS Probe

With the White House declining the House Oversight Committee’s request to make an official available to testify at an IRS hearing tomorrow, the Committee tonight issued a subpoena compelling her to appear.

The official is lawyer Jennifer O’Connor.

“A year ago, when news broke that the IRS had targeted Americans because of their political beliefs, President Obama pledged, ‘we will work with Congress as it performs its oversight role.’ I’m disappointed that one year later, the White House has attempted to block this Committee’s first request for voluntary cooperation from a White House official,” Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said in a statement announcing the subpoena this evening.

Prior to becoming a White House  counsel, O’Connor was tasked to the IRS to respond to the Congressional investigation into the tax agency’s alleged targeting of conservative groups.

On Fri. June 13, The IRS told Congress that the hard drive of a key manager linked to the scandal, Lois Lerner, had crashed and deleted many of her emails sent and received between 2009 and 2011 sought by the House Oversight Committee.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is appearing before the House Oversight Committee tonight. During opening statements, Rep. Issa said that the IRS’ verbal briefing provided just prior to the hearing “in no way” answered 15 interrogatories that Issa had posed asking for technical details about the email losses.

Koskinen appeared at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing last week and told Congress that the IRS will turn over 67,000 of Lerner’s emails. Just not all of the ones that Congress is seeking.

The IRS told Congress that emails belonging to six other IRS employees involved in the investigation may also have been affected by computer crashes.

Tomorrow’s House Oversight hearing is scheduled for 9:30am eastern time.

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