Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Should we be surprised that Lois Lerner perpetrated one of the biggest political scandals of our time?
The mountain of evidence that Lois Lerner engaged in criminal activity just grew even bigger today. Emails from early 2013 show that Lerner gladly assisted the Department of Justice with plans to prosecute conservative groups–and only conservative groups–for “lying” about political activity.
The email text shows these cases would be a stretch, and everyone knew it. Lerner said herself that criminal prosecutions of these groups would not fit well with the law.
I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ … He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s –saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS.
Apparently the DOJ wanted to enlist the IRS in doing its dirty work: “One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing the stuff,” Lerner told her staff.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton explained the significance of the newest findings:
These new emails show that the day before she broke the news of the IRS scandal, Lois Lerner was talking to a top Obama Justice Department official about whether the DOJ could prosecute the very same organizations that the IRS had already improperly targeted. The IRS emails show Eric Holder’s Department of Justice is now implicated and conflicted in the IRS scandal. No wonder we had to sue in federal court to get these documents.
How do you think that same Department of Justice will respond to the House Ways and Means Committee’s referral for criminal prosecution of Lois Lerner?
Emails also confirm Lerner knew they were only targeting groups with certain political convictions. “Can’t confirm that there was anyone on the other side of the political spectrum” targeted by the IRS, she told an aide requesting information for a Washington Post reporter on the day of her speech blaming “low-level employees” for the targeting.
Based on her history, however, we shouldn’t be surprised at this new, damning evidence. After all, she’s known for persecuting people on the right from her days on the Federal Election Committee. As head of the enforcement division, she led an outrageous investigation against the Christian Coalition. The group was absolved of wrongdoing, but not before enormous expenses accrued on both sides (including taxpayer dollars). However, her reputation was firmly established: Lerner was a bureaucrat who used the government as a weapon against people on the right.
Instead of facing consequences or even rebuke, Lerner was promoted–first within the FEC, then to the IRS. Once there, she repeatedly targeted conservative groups. By cooperating with Department of Justice, she knew she could intimidate conservatives with more far-reaching consequences.
Apparently, government employees who persecute conservatives get promoted and rewarded in the Obama Administration. Though Lerner received a slap on the wrist at the FEC, her career continued to accelerate in a liberally-dominated government.
But Lerner’s rise at the IRS doesn’t fall into the category of Einstein’s definition of “insanity.”
Because the Obama administration never expected different results.