AG Sessions Declines to Charge Lois Lerner in IRS Scandal
The Department of Justice has announced it will not charge former IRS official Lois Lerner in the highly controversial IRS scandal, which saw numerous Conservative groups allegedly targeted by the Department.
Fox News reports:
In a letter to members of Congress, the Justice Department said that “reopening the criminal investigation would not be appropriate based on the available evidence.”
Republican leaders on the House Ways and Means Committee had hoped the Justice Department would reopen its case against ex-IRS official Lois Lerner now that Republican Donald Trump is in the White House and Attorney General Jeff Sessions runs the department.[…]
Lerner headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt groups. An inspector general’s report in 2013 found that the IRS had singled out conservative and tea party groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. Many had their applications delayed for months and years. Some were asked improper questions about their donors and even their religious practices.
Recently, former IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner asked that her testimony in an upcoming class-action case to remain sealed.
The former Obama official is accused of targeting hundreds of groups due to their conservative beliefs.
The Washington Times reported:
Former IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner told a federal court this week that she faces the possibility of death threats if her role in the tax agency’s tea party-targeting becomes public, and asked a judge to forever seal her upcoming deposition in a class-action lawsuit brought by hundreds of groups that were targeted.
Mr. Lerner and Holly Paz, another figure from the IRS tea party targeting, told the judge they’ve already faced “harassment and death threats” before, and said they fear another media firestorm if their version of events from the tea party targeting were to become public.
The two women said they are willing to testify, but said they could be putting “their lives in serious jeopardy.”
“Mss. Lerner and Paz have demonstrated that the public dissemination of their deposition testimony would expose them and their families to harassment and a credible risk of violence and physical harm,” they said in documents submitted by their lawyer to Judge Michael R. Barrett.
Documents released in July 2016 revealed the IRS knew of Tea Party targeting since 2011.
The IRS released a list in 2016 of 426 Tea Party and conservative groups that were targeted during the Obama years.