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IRS's Lerner Had History of Harassment, Inappropriate Religious Inquiries at FEC

Targeted Christian Coalition.

4:45 PM, May 20, 2013 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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Q: “I have been asking you a series of questions about your relationship with Pat Robertson, the Christian Coalition. . . . It is relevant to this inquiry what relationship you had with Pat Robertson andI have asked you whether Pat Robertson had indicated to you that he was praying for you.”

O: “If that is a question, I will further object. It is an intrusion upon the religious beliefs and activities of Dr. Robertson. And how that could - how the Federal Government can be asking about an individual’s personal religious practices in the context of an alleged investigation under the Federal Election Campaign Act, I am just at a complete loss to see the
relevance or potential relevance, and I consider that to be also intrusive.”

Q: “Was Pat Robertson praying for you in 1991?”

O: “Same objection.”

A: “I hope so. I hope he still is.”

Asked what he remembers about this exchange, Bopp tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD he was "white hot," and notes that the transcription isn't entirely accurate becuase it actually excludes many of his objections.

The Christian Coalition was ultimately absolved of any FEC wrongdoing in 1999, and Lerner was promoted to acting General Counsel at the FEC in 2001 before eventually moving on to the IRS.  Bopp, who's all too familiar with the aggressive and inappropriate tenor she set leading the FEC's Enforcement Division, says he became concerned about what would happen as soon as Lerner joined the IRS. "When she left the FEC, I thought, 'Wow, this means the not for profit division is gearing up politically,'" he said. "It didn't bode well, because of the way [the FEC] approached cases."

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