President Trump’s Department of Justice which is currently led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced it won’t prosecute former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) executive Lois Lerner for her alleged targeting of conservative groups back in 2010 and 2012. The announcement has been made by Assistant Attorney General Kevin Boyd via a letter to Republican leaders on the House Ways and Means Committee.
The letter says that the Department of Justice decided not to pursue charges against Lois Lerner following a careful review of the case. Lerner was an Obama-era appointee who was in charge with overseeing the Internal Revenue Service’ division that scrutinized tax exempt organizations. Back in April 2017, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady respectively together with the chairman of the subcommittee on tax policy Rep. Peter Roskam asked AG Jeff Sessions to analyze the Lerner case and to determine if the latter should be charged with a crime.
The letter sent by Assistant Attorney General Kevin Boyd to Kevin Brady and Peter Roskam reads:
“After this process, the Department determined that reopening the investigation would not be appropriate based on the available evidence,”
IRS executive Lois Lerner was accused of bias by tea party affiliated groups which were either denied or stonewalled by the Internal Revenue Service division she was in charge with when they’ve tried to apply for tax exempt status.
Lerner pleaded the 5th Amendment on two separate occasions during congressional hearings which occurred since she retired from the IRS, in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Lerner was referred to former president Barack Obama’s DOJ fpr prosecution by the Republicans on the panel of the Ways and Means Committee. She was accused of obstructing justice and misleading Congress. Just like Trump’s DOJ in 2017, Obama’s DOJ declined prosecution in 2015. Predictably, Roskam and Brady blasted Trump’s DOJ decision:
“This is a terrible decision. It sends the message that the same legal, ethical, and Constitutional standards we all live by do not apply to Washington political appointees — who will now have the green light to target Americans for their political beliefs and mislead investigators without ever being held accountable for their lawlessness.”
“Today’s decision does not mean Lois Lerner is innocent. It means the justice system in Washington is deeply flawed,
Here’s what Judicial Watch’ Fitton had to say following DOJ’s decision:
I have zero confidence that the Justice Department did an adequate review of the IRS scandal. In fact, we’re still fighting the Justice Department and the IRS for records about this very scandal. Today’s decision comes as no surprise considering that the FBI collaborated with the IRS and is unlikely to investigate or prosecute itself. 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.
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.