The lawyer for former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner on Sunday brushed aside the the ongoing scandal surrounding her handling of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
“This is [just] election-year politics. It’s convenient to have a demon that they can create and point to,” said the lawyer, William Taylor III, on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
He insisted the entire controversy was based on routine IRS actions.
“Let me tell you something basic about this: People who want to give money to elections and do so in a tax-free way have to submit themselves to the scrutiny of the IRS to be sure that they’re complying with the rules that limit political activity,” he said.
Earlier in June the IRS claimed it lost two years of Lerner’s emails — a claim that sparked outrage from legislators investigating the IRS for allegedly singling out certain conservative groups for extra scrutiny.
Congressman Darrell Issa (R-California), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is among those leading the charge against Lerner. Issa, who also appeared on “State of the Union” Sunday, has accused both Lerner and Taylor of lying about the missing emails.
But Taylor dismissed the emails’ relevance.
“The truth is these emails predate most anything that’s of any relevance to anybody. But you can see why it’s convenient to say, ‘There’s a computer crash and therefore there must be something nefarious going on,'” he said. “Lois Lerner is a lifetime federal employee. She’s not a political employee.”
Watch Taylor on CNN below.
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