Lois Lerner Referred to DOJ for Criminal Prosecution
The House Ways and Means Committee has voted to request the Department of Justice pursue criminal action against former senior IRS official Lois Lerner in response to the criminal activity uncovered during the House's own investigation into the recent IRS scandal in which Tea Party organizations were specifically singled out for undue scrutiny in 501(c)(4) applications.
In a 97-page letter send to Attorney General Eric Holder, the committee outlines specific pieces of evidence discovered by the committee, all contributing to three actions taken by Lerner that the committee believes violated the law,
1. "Lerner used her position to improperly influence agency action against only conservative organizations, denying these groups due process and equal protection rights under the law. She showed extreme bias and prejudice towards conservative groups. The letter lays out evidence on how Lerner targeted conservative organization Crossroads GPS as well as other right-leaning groups, while turning a blind eye to similarly-organized liberal groups, like Priorities USA.
2. "Lerner impeded official investigations by providing misleading statements in response to questions from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
3. "Lerner risked exposing, and may actually have disclosed, confidential taxpayer information, in apparent violation of Internal Revenue Code section 6103 by using her personal email to conduct official business."
Read the House Ways and Means Committee letter in its entirety here.
Up to Holder
Ultimately, the decision of whether to move forward with the House committee's request for prosecution rests solely with the Eric Holder-led DOJ—Holder, the reader may recall, was found in contempt for his "refusal" to "produce documents to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform as directed by subpoena" in that Committee's investigations into Operation Fast and Furious (click here to read about yesterday's confrontation between Rep. Gohmert and Holder about Fast and Furious).
President Obama assured the American people that his administration would "get to the bottom" of the IRS scandal which pitted the government's tax-collection arm against the President's own political adversaries. If those words weren't empty, the Administration and the DOJ would look seriously into this case, pursue prosecution for the offenses uncovered by House investigations, and leave Ms. Lerner's fate in the hands of the criminal justice system. Until then, the Administration is passively complicit with the criminal activities of its executive agencies.
Also revealed in the Ways and Means Committee's letter to the DOJ are emails between Lois Lerner and the staff of Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) in regards to Catherine Engelbrecht's organization True the Vote. The emails show that Cumming's committee staff and the IRS via Lois Lerner colluded to improperly investigate True the Vote and Catherine Engelbrecht.
This damaging information comes after a series of vehement denials from Cummings when asked whether he or his staff had been in contact with the IRS to put True the Vote into the agency's regulatory crosshairs. Last February Engelbrecht filed a formal ethics complaint against Cummings for improperly targeting True the Vote.
Commenting on the incriminating email release, Engelbrecht said, "We filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Cummings in February; today we're amending that filing to include this latest revelation. As I said during my testimony before Congress, I will not retreat, I will not surrender, I will not be intimidated. I will not ask Elijah Cummings, Lois Lerner, Barack Obama, or anyone else, for permission to exercise my Constitutional rights."
If Lois Lerner did indeed leak legally protected private information about Catherine Engelbrecht or True the Vote to Cummings' staff, it looks like she may have some very important company sharing her legal woes.
Tom Toth (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Social Media Director for Americans for Limited Government. Used with permission of NetRightDaily.net