The Florida judge who reportedly signed off on the warrant permitting the FBI to raid the home of former President Trump — where they allegedly looked for classified documents — was far more sympathetic back in the day when tens of thousands of emails of Democrat Lois Lerner, then head of a division of the IRS and harsh critic of conservatives, disappeared.
“There was a year-long Congressional investigation before the IRS finally admitted the 2009 through 2011 Lois Lerner’s emails ‘disappeared,’” Robert Wood noted in Forbes.
“On Friday, the Internal Revenue Service informed Congressional investigators that it could not recover two years of emails from Lois Lerner, the former head of the agency’s tax-exempt status department,” The Washington Post reported in 2014, adding that Lerner was the focus of the investigation into the IRS forcing additional scrutiny on tax-exempt applications of Tea Party-affiliated organizations. Lerner was a registered Democrat, according to Politico.
Judge Bruce Reinhart was asked about Lerner’s missing emails. He stated, “Let me put it this way: Incompetence doesn’t necessarily lead to criminality.” He suggested the reason for the disappearing emails was “incompetence,” contending, “The IRS has one of the most antiquated computer systems in the world, and the fact that emails could have disappeared without Ms. Lerner knowing about it or Ms. Lerner being involved is entirely credible to me.”
“And I’m sure that will be her explanation, is that she was a very high-level person in the Department,” Reinhart surmised. “When the subpoena came in from Congress, it was delegated down to people who did this for a living; they were instructed to find everything. Information came back up to her that said, ‘This is what we have,’ she reported what she was told, and it turns out to be not to be true, but that’s not a crime. If she didn’t know it wasn’t true, that’s not a crime.”
The host pointed out that an email written by Lerner read, “I was cautioning folks about email and how we have had several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails — so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails.”
“It could be read one way to say, ‘Destroy what we already have,’ which of course would be criminal, or it could be construed to say, ‘Going forward, recognize that Congress could ask for our emails, so be careful what you put in writing,’” Reinhart argued, concluding, “I think at the end of the day, what originally happened here is probably not a crime, and to the extent that there’s concerns about the non-production of the emails I think she has enough insulation between her and those production issues that barring some other smoking gun I don’t see it.”
Watch the mental gymnastics that Bruce Reinhart (judge who signed off on Mar-a-Lago warrant) goes through to defend Lois Lerner deleting two years of emails during the IRS scandal. pic.twitter.com/AOva9wnVF4
— Maze (@mazemoore) August 9, 2022
According to CBS News, in some of Lerner’s emails she had referred to members of the GOP as “crazies” and “a**holes.” In response to the revelations from some of Lerner’s emails, Republican Rep. Dave Camp, who chaired the House Ways and Means Committee, wrote then-Attorney General Eric Holder, “This new evidence clearly demonstrates why Ms. Lerner not only targeted conservatives, but denied such groups their rights to due process and equal protection under the law.”
In 2015, the IRS stated in a court filing Lerner had utilized a personal e-mail using the alias “Toby Miles” to conduct IRS business.