Lois Lerner Got Off Easy In The IRS Scandal. It's Time To Reexamine The Targeting Of Conservatives [Watch]
Jay Sekulow, Fox News
The Trump administration is prompting a lot of change in Washington. Now, there’s a new call to get to the bottom of the corruption inside the Internal Revenue Service's well- coordinated scheme to target conservative organizations.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady and Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam have sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking the Department of Justice to re-open a probe of the conduct of former top IRS official Lois Lerner, who was at the center of a targeting scandal that discriminated against conservative organizations which had applied for tax-exempt status.
In fact, in this new plea for the Justice Department to get involved, the lawmakers contend there is clear evidence Lerner willfully took part in criminal activity during her tenure as the Exempt Organizations Division director.
In the letter, Representatives Brady and Roskam wrote:
“On April 9, 2014, the House Committee on Ways and Means voted to send a letter to the Department of Justice referring former IRS Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois G. Lerner for criminal prosecution. As indicated in the attached letter, the Committee’s nearly three-year investigation uncovered evidence of willful misconduct on the part of Ms. Lerner. Despite this fact, and for what many believe were purely partisan reasons, the prior Administration refused to review Ms. Lerner’s misconduct.”
The lawmakers urge the Department of Justice to “take a fresh look at the evidence” concerning Lerner’s actions in this matter.
We completely agree. Lois Lerner got off easy. She never faced charges for her role in this scandal. She was never prosecuted. She was permitted to retire – with a tax-payer funded pension.
The Obama administration looked the other way. The Obama Justice Department ignored key evidence that lawmakers point out in their letter to the Attorney General:
“In particular, the Committee found that Ms. Lerner used her position to improperly influence IRS action against conservative organizations, denying these groups due process and protection rights under the law. The Committee also found she impeded official investigations by providing misleading statements in response to questions from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Finally, Lerner risked exposing, and may have actually disclosed, confidential taxpayer information, in apparent violation of Internal Revenue Code section 6103 by using her personal email to conduct official business.”
For years, we’ve been demanding that Lois Lerner and others be held accountable for their roles in this scandal.
We have repeatedly called for the removal of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and now believe this latest request to get to the bottom of Lois Lerner’s actions is clearly warranted – a request that Attorney General Sessions should not ignore.
We continue to move forward in holding the IRS accountable in federal court. We represent 37 organizations in our ongoing lawsuit. After more than seven long years, one of our clients – the Tri-Cities Tea Party based in Washington State – finally received its tax-exempt status. Another client – the Albuquerque Tea Party – has been waiting for more than seven years, too, but has yet to receive a determination from the IRS.