(Washington, DC) – Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), today testified before the House Judiciary Committee telling members of Congress that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has demonstrated that it “can no longer fairly and justly oversee” any further investigations into the ongoing IRS targeting scandal and the “only opportunity for justice” for those targeted lies with an independent Special Counsel.
The ACLJ represents 41 organizations from 22 states in a federal lawsuit challenging the IRS. In a hearing entitled The IRS Targeting Scandal: The Need for a Special Counsel, Sekulow told the lawmakers that evidence clearly shows the DOJ was involved in the coordinated targeting and was directly engaged with IRS officials – including Lois Lerner – to “piece together” criminal prosecutions against the ACLJ’s clients, without any evidence of wrongdoing or any complaint of improper behavior. The ACLJ argues they engaged in this behavior after these groups were identified through an illegal targeting scheme by the IRS.
“The targeting of any American based upon their personal beliefs or freedoms of association is repugnant to the Constitution,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “Americans are outraged, and it is time for a real investigation. We need to know what happened. Those responsible for this scandal must be brought to justice. In this case, the IRS and the DOJ have proven that they are completely compromised on this investigation. The Constitution requires the President to faithfully execute the laws of the United States by defending the First Amendment rights of all American citizens. If our clients are going to find justice, we must have a Special Counsel.”
Sekulow added: “While it is difficult to overstate the extent and magnitude of federal government misconduct so far uncovered, it is clear that the DOJ itself is potentially complicit in the very crimes it claims to be investigating. The Justice Department has an incentive to not follow all of the leads in this case. They have that incentive because some of those leads point right back at them. A truly independent Special Counsel with broad authority is necessary to follow all of the evidence wherever it may lead. The only way our clients and others targeted by this government will achieve justice is if the investigation and prosecution for wrongdoing is moved outside the Department of Justice.”
Sekulow’s testimony submitted to the Judiciary Committee is available here.
In its federal lawsuit, the ACLJ represents 41 organizations in 22 states. Of the 41 groups, 26 organizations received tax-exempt status after lengthy delays, 9 are still pending, 5 withdrew applications because of frustration with the IRS process, and 1 had their file closed by the IRS after refusing to answer the unconstitutional requests for more information.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), focusing on constitutional law, is based in Washington, D.C.
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