Judicial Watch Smoking Gun Busts Open IRS Scandal, Again
The news just keeps going from bad to worse for President Obama and disgraced former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner, thanks in large part to Judicial Watch’s investigative work.
JW has been instrumental in uncovering evidence of Lerner’s role in the IRS “Tea Party” scandal, obtaining records even Congress could not get – documents proving the nation’s tax collecting agency attempted to silence conservative organizations through abusive practices.
And these discoveries led the Congress to push for more accountability.
On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, the House of Representatives voted 231-187 to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the agency’s targeting of Tea Party groups. Moments after the contempt vote – and arguably more importantly – the House passed a separate resolution asking the Department of Justice (DOJ) to appoint a special counsel to probe the IRS over the scandal by a vote of 250-168, with 26 Democrats joining Republicans.
And previously, on April 9, 2014, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to refer Lerner to the DOJ for criminal prosecution for alleged actions relating to the IRS’s targeting scandal.
And now this, as reported by Townhall.com’s Katie Pavlich:
Back in April, Judicial Watch released documents showing IRS officials, including former head of tax exempt groups Lois Lerner, discussing the possibility of bringing criminal charges against tea party groups for engaging in “political activity.” In fact, the documents showed Lerner wanted to make an example out of someone with charges in order to chill all of the groups in the tea party movement…
Now according to a release from House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, Lerner had a database of tax exempt organizations sent to the FBI just before the 2010 midterm elections. That database included legally protected taxpayer information. Emails show Lerner and DOJ Election Crimes Branch official Richard Pilger discussing what format the FBI prefers when it comes to receiving information for their investigation.
“Thanks Lois – FBI says Raw format is best because they can put it into their systems like excel,” Pilger wrote in an October 6, 2010 email to Lerner.
So the Obama IRS worked with the FBI to advance a scheme to criminally prosecute conservative organizations in the final weeks of the campaign season!
While at first the DOJ said the 1.1 million pages of records included only publicly available tax information, Justice officials ultimately reversed course, admitting that some confidential information was released as well.
According to Reps. Darrell Issa and Jim Jordan in a letter to IRS commissioner John Koskinen: “This revelation that the IRS sent 1.1 million pages of nonprofit tax-return data — including confidential taxpayer information — to the FBI confirms suspicions that the IRS worked with the Justice Department to facilitate the potential investigation of nonprofit groups engaged in lawful political speech.”
“[T]his revelation likely means that the IRS — including possibly Lois Lerner — violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Justice Department in 2010."
From the very beginning of the IRS scandal, Judicial Watch has been unearthing the truth about Lerner’s efforts to harass and hamstring conservative organizations.
JW’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and lawsuits resulted in revelations of Lerner’s collusion with the DOJ and the Federal Election Commission, as well as her spearheading efforts within the IRS to delay or block applications from Tea Party groups for 501(c)(4) tax exempt status.
Judicial Watch’s leadership led Congress to uncover that the FBI is now part of the IRS abuse scandal. Where will it end? And when will someone be held criminally accountable? Eric Holder’s DOJ and the FBI are now supposed to be investigating themselves? This is untenable.
In addition to Judicial Watch’s independent investigation, we need a special counsel – who isn’t a stooge of Obama or of Eric Holder – to investigate this administration, an idea with which even twenty-six House Democrats already agree.