Issa: Lerner’s attorney has ‘outright lied’

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) alleged Sunday that the attorney for former top IRS official Lois Lerner has lied to him about her role in the IRS's targeting of conservative organizations.

But Issa said on CNN's "State of the Union" that his committee would "probably never know" what happened to Lerner's missing e-mails and stopped short of accusing her of deliberately making them disappear.

"Her attorney [William Taylor] has said things that have not been correct or been disingenuous or outright lied a number of times, and it's been shown by e-mails," Issa said.

He did not provide specific examples. The oversight committee didn't respond to a request for elaboration.

Many of Lerner's e-mails between 2009 and 2011 have disappeared from what has been deemed a crash of her computer hard drive.

Issa noted that it is government and IRS practice to keep printouts of e-mails discussing decision-making. He suggested that an experienced government lawyer such as Lerner would have known about such a policy and abided by it.

Appearing on the same show, Taylor suggested that he and his client are being used as bogeymen for the 2014 election.

"I won't respond to that except to say he was wrong," Taylor said of Issa's allegation about lying. "This is election-year politics; it's convenient to have a demon that they can create."

Taylor played down the missing e-mails and pointed to repeated hard-drive crashes at the IRS as recently as this year.

"I get that it's convenient to create suspicion," he said. "The truth is these e-mails predate most anything that's of any relevance to anybody."

Taylor also said that his client obeyed federal laws by printing the e-mails she needed to.

"What's a federal record is a subjective measure," Taylor said.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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