Conservatives have been awaiting some kind of punishment for Lois Lerner and her IRS allies for their underhanded persecution of politically active conservatives. The IRS malfeasance most certainly affected the 2010, 2012 and 2014 election cycles. Perhaps their efforts didn’t change the outcome of the Presidential race, but it definitely affected the amount of money conservatives raised, and therefore probably coast them at least a few lower level elections.
Slowly, but surely, over the last year or so, we have learned more about what happened at the IRS and none of it was good. The only question was “how deep does this really go?” It seems that such a large and coordinated effort would have had help (and direction) from within the Obama administration. It seems dubious, at best, to think that this was all the work of lower level IRS officials – especially now that we know this went much higher up the IRS food chain.
It seems that the Department of Justice (and Lois Lerner) may have been considering prosecuting conservatives as far back as 2010! Which is years before she admitted considering the possibility…
Documents from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the IRS show that Ms. Lerner asked the DOJ whether tax-exempt entities could be criminally prosecuted. This May 8, 2013 email by Ms. Lerner went to Nikole C. Flax, Chief of Staff to Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller, who would later be fired by President Obama:
“I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ … He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s–saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS…”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton summed up the most recent (and shocking) discovery…
“These new documents dramatically show how the Justice Department is up to its neck in the IRS scandal and can’t be trusted to investigate crimes associated with the IRS abuses that targeted Obama’s critics. And it is of particular concern that the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section, which would ordinarily investigate the IRS abuses, is now implicated in the IRS crimes. No wonder the Department of Justice under Eric Holder has done no serious investigation of the Obama IRS scandal. It is shameful how Establishment Washington has let slide by Obama’s abuse of the IRS and the Justice Department. Only as a result of Judicial Watch’s independent investigations did the American people learn about the IRS-DOJ prosecution discussions of Obama’s political enemies and how the IRS sent, in violation of law, confidential taxpayer information to the FBI and DOJ in 2010. Richard Nixon was impeached for less.”
So, if the Department of Justice (DOJ) was involved in the illegal targeting of conservative groups by the IRS … are they really they best organization to be investigating the IRS for this crime?
I don’t think so.