Washington (CNN) - Expanding his IRS investigation by more than two decades, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-California, has sent a subpoena to the Federal Elections Commission for all communications involving former IRS administrator Lois Lerner from January 1, 1986 to the present day.
This new search is the broadest-yet for records in a year-long investigation by Issa and congressional Republicans, who are trying to assess why the agency targeted tea party and other political groups for extra scrutiny.
Issa issued the subpoena to Lee Goodman, head of the Federal Election Commission, on Tuesday for communications involving Lerner, who is seen as a central figure in the controversy because she ran the division that executed the targeting.
She resigned last year after the Treasury Department’s inspector general found those working under her used “inappropriate” criteria to scrutinize certain groups. Since then, Lerner has refused to testify before Congress, invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. This has added to the Republican push to find any documents related to Lerner and her time in government.
In the on-going, determined GOP effort, Republicans are now reaching back to her career before the IRS.
Lerner joined the FEC in 1981, first working in the general counsel’s office. Issa subpoena focuses on her work after 1986, when Lerner became the head of the FEC’s enforcement division.
CNN obtained a copy of FEC subpoena from the Democratic staff of the Oversight Committee, who said that it was issued unilaterally by the Republican chairman.
Issa’s office has not yet responded to CNN’s questions and request for comment.
The subpoena asks for all communications sent to or received from Lerner in those twenty-some years and specifically mentions e-mails, which of course did not exist for much of that time.
Issa has given the FEC until July 7 to produce the 28 years’ worth of documents.
The FEC declined to comment on the subpoena.