• D.C. watchdog group says president played key role in undermining probe into IRS abuses.
By John Friend —
Beginning in 2013, the Obama administration engaged in a widespread and coordinated effort to target certain politically oriented groups deemed hostile or opposed to the leftist agenda promoted by the White House. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in particular targeted conservative and tea party groups in an effort to hinder their activities and, eventually, terminate their tax-exempt status.
Knowledge of the blatant political targeting of opponents of the ruling regime sparked outrage, congressional hearings, and an undoubtedly compromised federal investigation into the scandal spearheaded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DoJ).
Unsurprisingly, the DoJ announced in late October of last year that no charges would be filed against the IRS, any of its officials—including Lois Gail Lerner, who directed the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS which is in charge of processing tax exempt applications from political organizations—or specific individuals in the Obama administration suspected of being involved with the politically motivated targeting.
At the time, the DoJ’s decision to close the investigation without bringing charges against those responsible for the politically motivated targeting of opponents of the regime as well as the corruption and mismanagement of the IRS drew fierce criticism from House Republicans and leading conservatives.
Representative Darrell Edward Issa (R-Calif.) served as the chairman of the House Oversight Committee at the time it investigated the IRS scandal and correctly argued that the DoJ’s decision gave the impression that “government officials are above the law.”
“The Justice Department’s decision to close the IRS targeting investigation without a single charge or prosecution is a low point of accountability in an administration that is better known for punishing whistleblowers than the abuse and misconduct they expose,” Issa noted in a statement at the time. “After stating that their investigation confirms that tea party and conservative groups were improperly targeted, they dismiss it merely as a byproduct of gross mismanagement and incompetence—ignoring volumes of evidence in the public record and efforts to obstruct legitimate inquiries.”
Judicial Watch (JW), a conservative-leaning non-partisan educational and investigative foundation that “promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law,” according to its website, has been instrumental in bringing to light the sordid details of the IRS scandal. The Washington, D.C.-based watchdog recently revealed the fact that DoJ attorney Barbara Bosserman, who despite being a major donor to both the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee, was nevertheless appointed by then-Attorney General Eric Holder to oversee the FBI’s investigation of the IRS scandal. She dedicated a whopping 1,529.25 hours toward investigating the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. When Ms. Bosserman’s scandalous appointment was announced, House Republicans, including Issa and House Subcommittee on Economic Growth Chairman Jim Jordon (R-Ohio), stated that her appointment was politically motivated and represented an obvious conflict of interest.
JW President Tom Fitton has also been critical of the Obama administration’s handling of the IRS scandal, as well as the appointment of Ms. Bosserman. In an effort to hold the administration accountable, JW has requested information from the Obama White House regarding the IRS scandal. However, the administration has done everything in its power to remain as nontransparent as possible.
Commenting on the significance of the revelation by his organization of the total number of hours Ms. Bosserman spent investigating the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, Fitton stated: “These numbers, extracted from the Obama administration after two years of hard fought litigation, show the central role that a conflicted Obama donor played in the Justice Department investigation of the Obama IRS scandal. Is it any surprise that this compromised investigation found no reason to prosecute anyone in the Obama IRS scandal?”
Fitton also offered harsh criticism of the Obama administration’s decision not to pursue criminal charges following its investigation into the IRS scandal.
“President Obama’s IRS was used against his opponents to help him win re-election. So the Obama Justice Department’s decision to shut down its IRS abuse investigation with no prosecutions is as unsurprising as it is corrupt,” Fitton noted in late October following the administration’s decision. “Judicial Watch’s independent litigation proved the Obama IRS obstructed justice and destroyed evidence. And we uncovered that the IRS and Lois Lerner conspired with the Justice Department and FBI on a plan to jail the very Americans the IRS was illegally suppressing. . . . Congress needs to get its act together and consider the impeachment and removal from office of the officials, including Barack Obama, responsible for the worst abuse of the IRS in American history.”
The recent decision by the FBI to not recommend criminal charges be brought against Hillary Clinton offers the American people even more proof—as if any was necessary at this point—that the Obama administration in particular and the political establishment generally is not interested in the rule of law.
High-level political and corporate operatives of all political persuasions are simply above the law, as evidenced by the IRS scandal, the Clinton email scandal, the Wall Street bailout, and myriad other crimes committed by the ruling elite in America.
John Friend is a writer who lives in California.