Lois Lerner

Unapologetic Lois Lerner Insists She's Done Nothing Wrong

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C-SPAN

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” retired Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Lois Lerner tells Politico in a rare interviews with the press. Lerner has stayed quiet since she came under fire as part an ongoing scandal involving the tax agency’s targeting of conservative non-profits.

Lerner thinks she did nothing wrong, and she won’t apologize. “Regardless of whatever else happens, I know I did the best I could under the circumstances and am not sorry for anything I did,” she said in an interview with the paper.

That’s basically all she says about her role in the scandal. Lerner, who, after reading a statement, exercised her Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination when called to testify before Congress last year, doesn’t really add anything to her defense with the statements in her piece. She declares that she stands by her workâ€"and that’s it.

She says she get a lot of hate mail and grief, and some of it is genuinely outrageous, including anti-Semitic remarks and death threats serious enough that federal agents have been called in for protection.

We do learn about her, um, favorite piece of hate mail:

 Among the hate mail, Lerner’s “favorite” is one that says she’ll “go down in history as the worst person ever in the United States.”

“I just thought, ‘Boy, worse than Jeffrey Dahmer?’” she asks, her face crinkling up, eyebrows pinching together in disbelief.

She and her husband, a partner at a law firm who sat with her during the interview,  seem fairly upset about the loss of income that has come as a result of the scandal.

“Under both Republican and Democratic administrations, she got these amazing ratings and bonuses. … And once she retired, she would have gone out with bells and whistles, and the IRS commissioner would have made a speech. … It went from that to: You’re under criminal investigation, and your career is ruined, in a week,” her husband Michael Miles said to Politico.

She may not have gotten all the “bells and whistles” when she left the agency last year, but she did manage to retire with benefits and a pension that has been valued in the range of $50,000 a year. That's not bad considering that when she retired, a review board was about to recommend that she be fired, citing mismanagement and “neglect of duties” in her role as head of the IRS tax exempt division, according to an Associated Press article from last year.