The IRS has disabled the computer accounts of Lois Lerner, the director of exempt organizations who’s been put on administrative leave, and Holly Paz, the former director of the Office of Rulings and Agreements, according to an IRS source familiar with the situation.
The source says that their accounts were shut down shortly after 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, at the request of Glenn Melcher, who identifies himself as a lawyer with the office of the IRS’s chief counsel. That’s the same day that National Review Online reported that, contrary to the IRS’s blanket denial, Lois Lerner was continuing to access the agency’s computer system, where she has access to private taxpayer data, while on leave. That is also the day we reported that Holly Paz, the Washington, D.C., administrator who sat in on so many of the Treasury Department inspector general’s interviews with her underlings, may have been, according to IRS sources, fired by the agency.
Reports over the weekend indicate that Paz personally reviewed between 20 and 30 tea-party applications herself, which contradicts the IRS’s earlier claims that the targeting of tea-party groups began with and was limited to a couple of rogue agents in the IRS’s Cincinnati office. The Associated Press reports that Paz “provided no evidence that senior IRS officials ordered agents to target conservative groups or that anyone in the Obama administration outside the IRS was involved” and said that “she thought the term [tea party] was merely shorthand for all applications from groups that were politically active — conservative and liberal.”
Attorney Glenn Melcher’s public profile indicates that he oversees “criminal e-discovery requests for civil information” and provides advice and counsel to employees across the IRS on “electronically stored information.” Melcher previously served stints at the Department of Justice, as a trial attorney, and at the State Department, where he worked overseas as a Foreign Service officer. Melcher did not respond to requests for comment.