Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Senator Jeanne Shaheen's office, and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter's office on Wednesday. Copies have been mailed to the three aforementioned offices and were hand delivered to the district offices of Senator Shaheen and Congresswoman Shea-Porter as well.
Our organization is seeking to obtain any and all emails and or correspondences to or from Senator Jeanne Shaheen and/or Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) to or from former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, former Commissioner Steve Miller, and/or former head of the tax-exempt groups Lois Lerner between the dates of January 1, 2009 - May 21, 2013.
This request was filed in response to the revelation on June 13, 2014 that two years of Lois Lerner's emails are lost as well as Senator Jeanne Shaheen's letter in 2012 to the IRS requesting greater scrutiny of tax-exempt organizations. Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter also made public statements critical of tax-exempt conservative organizations.
On May 21, 2013, another organization filed a FOIA request with the IRS asking for all emails or written correspondences to or from IRS officials to several legislators, including Senator Jeanne Shaheen. According to an article by Kate Pavlich at Townhall.com published on May 16th, this request for information has been delayed six times at the request of the IRS.
In absence of the IRS's cooperation in this matter as well as statements that the IRS has "lost" many emails pertaining to this matter, even though Members of Congress are exempted from doing so, we are also asking for Senator Shaheen and Congresswoman Shea-Porter to comply with our FOIA request. Their constituents deserve answers.
Freedom of speech and government transparency is something all Americans cherish. That is why last Friday's revelation that the federal government is now missing two years of emails from Lois Lerner after her efforts to single out conservative groups is so concerning. This, coupled with the continued stonewalling by the IRS regarding correspondences between their officials and Senator Jeanne Shaheen as well as written statements criticizing conservative groups by Congresswoman Shea-Porter, is why we believe the situation is worth looking further into.
Granite Staters deserve to know what their elected leaders in Washington knew about this scandal and if they had a role in advocating for targeting by the IRS. We patiently await a response to our FOIA request from the three aforementioned offices.