Former IRS Official Testifies After Heated Exchange

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

A White House official who used to work at the Internal Revenue Service was grilled Tuesday about former IRS official Lois Lerner's lost emails, a day after congressional Republicans said they didn't buy claims that no crime was committed in the disappearance of the emails. Jennifer O'Connor, who worked at the IRS from May to November 2013, was subpoenaed Monday night by Re. Darrell Issa, R-Calif, chairman of the House Oversight Committee to discuss the IRS's claims that Lerner's computer crashed in 2011, erasing emails that may give insight into the targeting of Tea Party and other political groups between the 2010 and 2012 elections.

"Ms. O'Connor, you declined to be here voluntarily, so we subpoenaed you. Clearly you are not pleased to be here, but it is important that you are here," he said. "Yes or no please, you are a hostile witness?" he asked.

When O'Connor insisted that she was "not at all a hostile witness," Issa fired back: "Yes, you are," but later clarified, "A term I should have used was 'non-cooperative witness' rather than hostile."

He concluded the hearing by saying, "The American people do not believe we are getting the honest answer from the IRS."