The swamp wins again.
Lois Lerner was the IRS official at the center of the scandal over targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups.
The evidence was overwhelming that Tea Party and conservative groups had applications for tax exempt status delayed or denied, while liberal groups did not, and that this targeting was deliberate. Documents and hard drives went missing, Lerner pleaded the 5th, and there were years of obfuscation and delay in producing documents and information.
The House Oversight Committee produced this video in 2014 summarizing what had happened:
On October 23, 2015, we reported on the DOJ decision not to prosecute her, DOJ – Lois Lerner to face no criminal charges:
The Justice Department notified members of Congress on Friday that it is closing its two-year investigation into whether the IRS improperly targeted tea party and other conservative groups.
There will be no charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner or anyone else at the agency, the Justice Department said in a letter.
The probe found “substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia leading to the belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted them based on their political viewpoints. But poor management is not a crime.”
The first disclosure of the targeting deceptively was made by Lerner herself at a Bar Association meeting when she had someone plant a question to her, since she knew the IG report was coming out.
No political motive? That’s not what the emails showed, Lois Lerner Emails: Republicans are Evil and Dishonest…
No obstruction of justice? What about the secret Toby Miles email account that the IRS didn’t even know about?
Do people who are not concealing anything always make statements like “we need to be cautious about what we say in emails” and suggest use of instant messages to avoid government record keeping of communications?
Republicans in the House requested that the DOJ reopen its investigation into Lerner and reconsider whether to prosecute. In a letter delivered today, DOJ stated that it stood by it’s decision not to prosecute.
Fox News reports:
The Trump administration has no plans to charge former IRS official Lois Lerner over her role in the Tea Party targeting scandal, the Justice Department said Friday in response to calls by Republican lawmakers to revisit the case.
In a letter to the lawmakers, the Justice Department said that “reopening the criminal investigation would not be appropriate based on the available evidence.”
This past April, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., had asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take a “fresh look” at the case….
“This is a terrible decision,” Brady said. “It sends the message that the same legal, ethical, and constitutional standards we all live by do not apply to Washington political appointees.” …
Brady said appointees “will now have the green light to target Americans for their political beliefs and mislead investigators without ever being held accountable for their lawlessness.”
Here is the letter (via Frank Thorp V Twitter):
At the House Ways & Means Committee website, Brady and Rep. Peter Roksam released the following statement and background documentation:
As Chairman Brady said:
“This is a terrible decision. It sends the message that the same legal, ethical, and Constitutional standards we all live by do not apply to Washington political appointees – who will now have the green light to target Americans for their political beliefs and mislead investigators without ever being held accountable for their lawlessness. Not only has the Department of Justice chosen not to hold Lois Lerner criminally liable for obstructing an official investigation by the Inspector General, the Department continues to defend the Internal Revenue Service’s unconstitutional actions against taxpayers in ongoing civil litigation.
“I have the utmost respect for Attorney General Sessions, but I’m troubled by his Department’s lack of action to fully respond to our request and deliver accountability. Today’s decision does not mean Lois Lerner is innocent. It means the justice system in Washington is deeply flawed.”
Chairman Roskam added:
“The decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner is a miscarriage of justice. On top of Ms. Lerner’s actions against taxpayers – denying tax-exempt status to groups for political gain and failing to protect taxpayer information – the Department’s response blatantly ignores our most troubling finding: that Ms. Lerner intentionally misled federal investigators in a flagrant violation of the law. This is unacceptable and Ms. Lerner must be held accountable. Our democracy is injured when those who taxpayers entrust with great authority ignore the law to advance their own political agenda without repercussion.”
* * *
On April 12, 2017, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling on the DOJ to review evidence that Lois Lerner broke the law by targeting Americans for their political beliefs and lying to Congress during an investigation of misconduct.
Despite clear evidence of criminal misconduct and a Committee referral to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution, the Obama Administration refused to review the information and deliver justice to the taxpayers harmed by Ms. Lerner’s actions.
In the letter to Attorney General Sessions, Chairmen Brady and Roskam wrote: “Taxpayers deserve to know that the DOJ’s previous evaluation was not tainted by politics … We respectfully request the Department of Justice to take a fresh look at the evidence presented in the attached referral in order to restore taxpayers’ trust in the IRS.”
CLICK HERE to read a timeline of Ms. Lerner’s misconduct at the IRS.
CLICK HERE to read the full text of the Committee’s initial referral in April 2014 to former Obama Administration Attorney General Eric Holder following the Committee’s three-year investigation.
CLICK HERE to read the full text of the April 2017 Brady/Roskam letter to Attorney General Sessions requesting the Department of Justice review the evidence of Ms. Lerner’s misconduct.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, whose team did as much as anyone to uncover documents regarding the IRS scandal, released a statement:
I have zero confidence that the Justice Department did an adequate review of the IRS scandal. In fact, we’re still fighting the Justice Department and the IRS for records about this very scandal. Today’s decision comes as no surprise considering that the FBI collaborated with the IRS and is unlikely to investigate or prosecute itself. President Trump should order a complete review of the whole issue. Meanwhile, we await accountability for IRS Commissioner Koskinen, who still serves and should be drummed out of office.
That Judicial Watch statement included this documentation of how Lerner knew Tea Party groups were being targeted:
Judicial Watch released 294 pages of FBI “302” documents revealing top Washington IRS officials, including Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, knew the agency was specifically targeting “Tea Party” and other conservative organizations two full years before disclosing it to Congress and the public. An FBI 302 document contains detailed narratives of FBI agent investigations. The Obama Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.
The FBI 302 documents confirm the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) 2013 report that said, “Senior IRS officials knew that agents were targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny as early as 2011.” Lerner did not reveal the targeting until May 2013, in response to a planted question at an American Bar Association conference. The new documents reveal that then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller actually wrote Lerner’s response: “They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.”
Very disturbing that DOJ and Sessions are not taking any action in the IRS scandal. Message to all bureaucrats: Do your worst. #loislerner
— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) September 8, 2017
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.