by WorldTribune Staff, April 18, 2017
Two House Republicans are calling on the Justice Department to reopen the investigation into Lois Lerner and the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, noting that the Obama administration refused to hold anyone accountable.
In a letter to the Justice Department, Rep. Peter Roskam, Illinois Republican, and Rep. Kevin Brady, Texas Republican, said the “nearly three-year investigation” into IRS targeting “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 IRS admitted that, beginning in 2010, it singled out tea party and conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status and delayed their approval up to the 2012 presidential election. Some groups said they are still waiting for their status to be approved.
Lerner, who headed the tax-exempt status division of the IRS at the time, admitted in 2013 at an American Bar Association meeting that conservative groups were targeted for extra scrutiny based on their political beliefs, but she blamed low-level employees for the targeting.
In 2014, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to send a letter to the Justice Department to refer Lerner for criminal prosecution.
Former President Barack Obama said during the Justice Department’s investigation that there was “not a smidgeon” of corruption at the IRS. In October 2015, it was announced that the agency would not bring charges against Lerner.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee “found that Ms. Lerner used her position to improperly influence IRS action against conservative organizations, denying these groups due process and equal protection rights under the law,” Roskam and Brady said in their letter to the Justice Department. “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 actually have disclosed, confidential taxpayer information, in apparent violation of Internal Revenue Code section 6103 by using her personal email to conduct official business,” the lawmakers said.