IRS Official Whose Computer Crashed Was Responsible For Spinning Congress On Targeting
By Patrick Howley
One of the IRS officials whose emails were lost in a “computer crash” was responsible for spinning Congress about the agency’s targeting of nonprofit groups, according to 2012 emails obtained by Congress. Nikole Flax served as ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s point person on delaying and reviewing all IRS responses to questions about what Lerner called “c4 stuff.” Flax was tasked with emailing “affirmative messages” to IRS officials if she approved of their responses to questions about the targeting.
Flax, a frequent White House visitor, is one of seven IRS employees whose emails were allegedly destroyed in a wave of computer crashes that afflicted the IRS’ Washington and Cincinnati offices. Flax worked under Lerner in the IRS Exempt Organizations division before becoming chief of staff to then-IRS commissioner Steven T. Miller. Lerner’s emails, including messages to and from the White House, were also allegedly lost in her own computer crash. Flax joined Lerner at a February 2010 conference at Washington’s Grand Hyatt Hotel to tell fellow government employees about the IRS’ new targeting of nonprofit groups at a conference that featured the seminar, “Will the IRS Come Knocking? What You Need To Know About IRS Audit Plans And Practices For Tax Exempts.”