The attorney heading the internal investigation into potential unfair targeting of conservative groups by the IRS is a frequent and significant donor to both the Democratic National Committee and President Obama, Rep. Darrell Issa revealed today, in what he calls a “startling conflict of interest” that jeopardizes the investigation.
Rep. Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent a letter today to Attorney General Eric Holder revealing new information that reached the committee on who is conducting the internal investigations at the IRS regarding the inappropriate targeting of conservative groups. Seeking an explanation as to why the FBI has been unresponsive to the committee, Rep. Issa noted that current and former IRS officials revealed Barbara Bosserman, a trial attorney within the IRS’s Civil Rights Commission, is leading the internal investigation.
Bosserman’s leadership raises all sorts of questions about the investigation’s fairness. Rep. Issa’s investigations revealed that she has been a loyal financial backer of the DNC since 2004 and has donated multiple times personally to President Obama’s two campaigns. Her personal donation total reaches $6,750 to both the party and President Obama.
Choosing someone so openly and obviously partisan to lead an investigation into partisan targeting of opposition groups is “unbelievable” and “highly inappropriate,” Rep. Issa asserts, and demands of the Attorney General immediate action to both remove Bosserman from leading the investigation and remedy any damage that may have occurred due to her involvement.
The White House has been notoriously silent despite its apparent involvement in unfairly targeting 501(c)(4)s and other political civic action committees aligned with the Tea Party for more thorough investigations into whether their political advocacy was proper. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called the targeting a “phony scandal” when questioned about the matter, and the White House has attempted to argue that progressive political groups also found themselves in the IRS’s crosshairs.
However, more than 80% of the 162 groups targeted in one case investigating inappropriate political “propaganda” were Tea Party-affiliated or otherwise anti-Obama groups.