The Justice Department has decided not to file charges against Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of targeting Tea Party and conservative groups. The political controversy involved the IRS targeting groups for extra scrutiny while processing applications for tax-exempt status in the wake of Citizens United, a Supreme Court decision that gave individuals the same campaign finance rights unions have enjoyed for decades.
Federal prosecutors announced their decision Friday in a letter to members of Congress. However, PPD has learned that the decision does not reflect whether Lerner did anything wrong, per se, but was told that it was rather the strength of the case.
More than two years ago an inspector general’s investigative report found that Lerner and other IRS agents had improperly singled out conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections. The disclosure, which was made public when Lerner planted a question during a public gathering, set off investigations by the Justice Department and multiple congressional committees.
The House voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress last year after she invoked the Fifth Amendment at two House Oversight hearings. She has since retired.
Worth noting, PPD reported in July that newly obtained documents reveal the Justice Department was well-aware of, in fact knee-deep in the IRS targeting of conservative groups as early as 2010. A “DOJ Recap” report detailed an October 2010 meeting between Lois Lerner, DOJ officials and “one representative from the FBI” to discuss the possible criminal prosecution of nonprofit organizations for alleged political activity.
The documents also reveal that President Obama’s and then-Attorney General Eric Holder’s DOJ wanted IRS employees who were set to testify to Congress to turn over documents to them prior to handing them over to Congress. The IRS gave the FBI 21 computer disks, which contained 1.25 million pages of confidential IRS returns from 113,000 nonprofit social 501(c)(4) welfare groups -– accounting for nearly every 501(c)(4) in the United States -– as part of its effort to prosecute the president’s political opponents.
That was not the first revelation to cast serious doubt on the integrity of the Justice Department under AG Holder, particularly as it relates to the IRS targeting scandal. House Republicans learned in January, 2014 that the Justice Department’s investigation into the IRS targeting Tea Party groups had been “compromised,” after Holder’s DOJ outrageously appointed an Obama donor to head up the probe.
In a letter to Holder, lawmakers say they’ve learned that Barbara Kay Bosserman, the trial attorney appointed to investigate the IRS scandal, is a long-term donor of both the Democratic National Committee and President Obama, a revelation confirmed Tuesday by the White House.
Campaign finance records show Bosserman contributed at least $6,750.00 going back to 2004 and donated sometimes twice a month, rotating between Obama’s campaign and the Democratic national committee, at one point giving $1,000.00 in one shot to the “Obama for America” super PAC.
Meanwhile, because of the illegal public disclosure of confidential taxpayer information from the IRS to the FBI, the agency was forced to return the 1.25 million pages to the tax-collection agency.