JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Lois Lerner, the senior IRS official who headed the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status, is retiring. But Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis, who sits on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, says this isn’t the end of it with Lois Lerner.
“I think it’s in her interest to wanna come and tell her side of the story and be honest with the committee,” DeSantis tells WOKV. “The fact that she’s resigned from the IRS does not mean she’s still not pertinent to the investigation into the political targeting in 2012.”
He says the committee has learned a lot more about the IRS targeting scandal since it broke in the spring, and if Lerner testifies, he thinks “she’s gonna be confronted with a lot more information.”
DeSantis says Lerner is resigning under pressure, which came back in full force at the beginning of the month after emails were released showing that she seemed to have knowledge of the Tea Party targeting back in 2011, well before she broke the news in the spring of 2013.
“She’s basically doing political cheerleading for the Democratic Party,” DeSantis says of the emails.
DeSantis says maybe Lerner could give the committee information in exchange for some type of immunity, though it’s up to the committee.
“It’s not my call,” he says.
DeSantis says this situation different than when an elected official “gets out of line” because the American voters always have recourse.
“But when you have somebody who’s in the bureaucracy at an upper level like a Lois Lerner – if she does have an agenda – it’s very difficult for the American people to hold that individual accountable if they don’t like what they’re doing.”
“So in that sense, a politicized bureaucracy is in some ways more dangerous than a politicized White House or members of Congress who go beyond their core duty.”
DeSantis says people in Northeast Florida were affected by Lerner’s conduct, as there were some social welfare groups who tried to achieve tax-exempt status.
“And that’s something that she was essentially running interference on,” he says.