More and more, it seems clear that the GOP has controlled opposition in the Executive Branch currently. While Trump has not had Attorney General Jeff Sessions appoint a special investigator to the Clintons as he promised, it also is quite telling that the Justice Department is unwilling to charge former Internal Revenue head Lois Lerner in the scandal where she oversaw the targeting of conservative groups desiring non-profit status.
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.
Despite numerous hearings and inquiries into the tough treatment of conservative groups by the tax agency during the 2010 and 2012 elections, the Obama Justice Department had announced in 2015 that no one at the IRS would be prosecuted. They said at the time that investigators had “found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.”
The Republicans who requested a fresh look at the case were disappointed in the Trump DOJ’s response.
I’m certainly not disappointed. I’m more like coming to expect this kind of thing.
There is ample evidence that case. In fact, there’s way more evidence against Lois Lerner than there ever was against the Bundy Ranch supporters.
At least Judicial Watch had the courage to blast the DOJ for its lack of serious investigation into the matter.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton blasted the DOJ’s investigation.
“I have zero confidence that the Justice Department did an adequate review of the IRS scandal,” Fitton said.
“In fact, we’re still fighting the Justice Department and the IRS for records about this very scandal,” he added.
“Today’s decision comes as no surprise considering that the FBI collaborated with the IRS and is unlikely to investigate or prosecute itself,” he continued. “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.”
Trump isn’t going to order a review. He just isn’t. And what good would it do anyway? He hasn’t kept his promise when it comes to Hillary Clinton, has he? What makes anyone think he will make sure the DOJ does their job with Lois Lerner?
Judicial Watch was key in obtaining tons of documents that exposed the corruption inside the IRS under Lerner. The government watchdog reported:
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.”
Judicial Watch’s litigation forced the IRS first to say that emails belonging to Lerner were supposedly missing and later declare to the court that the emails were on IRS back-up systems. Lerner was one of the top officials responsible for the IRS’ targeting of President Obama’s political opponents. Judicial Watch exposed various IRS record keeping problems:
- In June 2014, the IRS claimed to have “lost” responsive emails belonging to Lerner and other IRS officials.
- In July 2014 Judge Emmett Sullivan ordered the IRS to submit to the court a written declaration under oath about what happened to Lerner’s “lost” emails. The sworn declarations proved to be less than forthcoming.
- In August 2014, Department of Justice attorneys for the IRS finally admitted Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The IRS’ attorneys also disclosed that Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was looking at several of these backup tapes.
- In November 2014, the IRS told the court it had failed to search any of the IRS standard computer systems for the “missing” emails of Lerner and other IRS officials.
- On February 26, 2015, TIGTA officials testified to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that it had received 744 backup tapes containing emails sent and received by Lerner. This testimony showed that the IRS had falsely represented to both Congress, Judge Sullivan, and Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails were irretrievably lost. The testimony also revealed that IRS officials responsible for responding to the document requests never asked for the backup tapes and that 424 backup tapes containing Lerner’s emails had been destroyed during the pendency of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit and Congressional investigations.
- In June 2015, Judicial Watch forced the IRS to admit in a court filing that it was in possession of 6,400 “newly discovered” Lerner emails. Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the IRS to provide answers on the status of the Lerner emails the IRS had previously declared lost. Judicial Watch raised questions about the IRS’ handling of the missing emails issue in a court filing, demanding answers about Lerner’s emails that had been recovered from the backup tapes.
In July 2015, U.S District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan threatened to hold John Koskinen, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, and Justice Department attorneys in contempt of court after the IRS failed to produce status reports and recovered Lerner emails, as he had ordered on July 1, 2015.
So far, the only person to face any real trouble in that entire fiasco was former Obama IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, but that was only a near impeachment for misleading a Republican-led Congress about Lerner’s emails. Nothing came of it.
So, what we learn in all of this is that the same corruption continues to exist in DC. These guys cover for each other at every turn and the only people paying for these injustices are the people these bureaucrats are supposed to serve.
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