Lois Lerner was the high-level IRS official who worked to purposefully target conservative groups applying for tax exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections. Under her leadership, the IRS put these groups under extreme scrutiny, and delayed their applications because of their beliefs.
Such targeting had conservatives rightly outraged, and even some on the Left recognized weaponizing the IRS is morally reprehensible. Congress began investigating the IRS for their targeting of conservative groups, and referred the case to the Justice Department in 2014. However, the Obama DOJ announced they found no wrongdoing at the IRS (was anyone surprised by that?).
Earlier this year, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas asked the DOJ to re-review the case, and he trusted that Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ department would properly investigate the issue and bring the perpetrators to justice.
However, the DOJ has stunningly decided not to re-open the investigation, Fox News is reporting.
In a letter to members of Congress, the Justice Department said that “reopening the criminal investigation would not be appropriate based on the available evidence.”
Republican leaders on the House Ways and Means Committee had hoped the Justice Department would reopen its case against ex-IRS official Lois Lerner now that Republican Donald Trump is in the White House and Attorney General Jeff Sessions runs the department.
They were disappointed in the department’s response. “This is a terrible decision,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, the Ways and Means Committee chairman. “It sends the message that the same legal, ethical, and constitutional standards we all live by do not apply to Washington political appointees.”
“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,” Brady said.
The Ways and Means Committee, in their press release, also stated that it was because of the mishandling of the case by the Obama DOJ that they wanted it re-investigated.
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.”
After the scandal was exposed, a great number of senior officials resigned or retired.
It is simply appalling that the Department of Justice is not going to investigate this systemic violation of the law and the Constitution. Where is Sessions’ acclaimed dedication to the Constitution, the freedom of speech and of religious exercise?
Is no one to be held accountable for the blatant and intentional violation of these sacred fundamental rights? And does it not send a message to other government employees that they can also violate statutory law and the Constitution with impunity?
This is the kind of thing which Donald Trump railed about on the campaign trail. Are you going to sit by and say that this is not inherently reprehensible? Many of you voted for Donald Trump, and subsequently the people he placed into official positions.
The time to let them know what you think of this is NOW.