Hollywood couldn’t write a script with any more scandal and intrigue than what is unfolding in the IRS targeting scandal.
The House Ways and Means Committee is reporting that the IRS has “lost” emails from Lois Lerner, the top IRS official at the center of the targeting of conservative groups. Yes, you read the right “lost” them. They can’t find them, gone. Are we supposed to say oh well, we’ll try to do better next time?
This is insanity. Worse, the supposedly “lost” emails are from “January 2009 – April 2011” – the heart of the targeting as hundreds of conservative groups applied for tax-exempt status and were intentionally slow rolled as intrusive questionnaires were developed. Conveniently, all emails during the period “to and from” Lerner involving “outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices” are gone “[d]ue to a supposed computer crash,” the Committee has reportedly been told.
Committee Chairman Dave Camp is demanding answers from the Obama Administration. He stated:
“The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to Congressional inquiries. There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the Inspector General.
“Just a short time ago, Commissioner Koskinen promised to produce all Lerner documents. It appears now that was an empty promise. Frankly, these are the critical years of the targeting of conservative groups that could explain who knew what when, and what, if any, coordination there was between agencies. Instead, because of this loss of documents, we are conveniently left to believe that Lois Lerner acted alone. This failure of the IRS requires the White House, which promised to get to the bottom of this, to do an Administration-wide search and production of any emails to or from Lois Lerner. The Administration has repeatedly referred us back to the IRS for production of materials. It is clear that is wholly insufficient when it comes to determining the full scope of the violation of taxpayer rights.”
We’ll continue to update as this situation unfolds and our lawsuit, representing 41 targeted conservative groups, against the IRS continues, but one this is for sure, this Administration must be held accountable for its actions.
It’s taken years, but IRS approvals are still slowly—very slowly—rolling in. The ACLJ first sounded the alarm against the Obama Administration’s unlawful targeting of grassroots conservative groups in the spring of 2012. It was not until the following year, in May of 2013, when Lois Lerner admitted...
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Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional law. He is author of the New York Times Bestseller, Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore. He hosts “Jay Sekulow Live” – a daily radio show which is broadcast on more than 850 stations...
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