Emails Show Corruption At Heart Of Administration
Posted 04/17/2014 06:42 PM ET
Corruption: New emails show that both the IRS and Justice Department were involved in a probe of Tea Party and other conservative groups. This is no mere scandal — it's a major breach of the law.
The newly released emails were gathered for a Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch, a nonpartisan public interest law group. They show that former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner discussed with the Justice Department going after conservative groups that she believed lied about their political activities.
What's shocking is that this discussion came just days before Lerner acknowledged that the IRS had investigated tea-party and other conservative groups but insisted that it was an isolated incident conducted by low-level officials in the IRS' Cincinnati office.
It was a lie. In a May 8 email to Nikole Flax, then the chief of staff to the acting IRS commissioner, Lerner discusses a phone call from Richard Pilger, who headed the Justice Department's elections crimes unit.
According to Lerner, Pilger wondered if the IRS could help him "piece together false-statement cases about applicants who 'lied'" on applications for tax-free status.
In a subsequent email, Lerner responded: "I think we should do it — also need to include CI (the criminal investigation unit), which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC (the Federal Election Commission). Does it make sense to consider including them in this or keep it separate?"
It's been clear for some time that this goes beyond a mere rogue IRS operation in Cincinnati. But until now, we didn't know how far it went.
As the emails show, it was a high-level conspiracy to use the offices and powers of the federal government — including the IRS, FEC and Justice — to falsely prosecute and harass the tea party and conservative political groups that opposed the Obama administration.
How do we know that the groups were "conservative?" Just two days after her email to Flax, Lerner admitted in an email to a Washington Post reporter that she "can't confirm that there was anyone on the other side of the political spectrum" targeted by the IRS.
In short, it was a politically motivated witch hunt.
"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," said Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch's president.
"The IRS emails show Eric Holder's Department of Justice is now implicated and conflicted in the IRS scandal," he added.
Moreover, the IRS coordinated some of its attacks against conservatives and the GOP with far-left Democrats in Congress, including Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. This wasn't isolated; it was a campaign.
President Obama told Fox News in February that there wasn't "even a smidgen of corruption" in what the IRS did. The corruption is there, Mr. President, and it demands a prosecution. The only remaining question is whether the rot extends to your office, too.http://news.investors.com/print/ibd-editorials/041714-697618-new-emails-show-extensive-plan-to-target-conservative-groups.aspx