On Friday, the Obama Justice Department declared that they would not be seeking charges for Lois Lerner, the disgraced former IRS official who oversaw the campaign of harassment orchestrated by the IRS.
In a letter to leaders of the House Judiciary Committee, Obama’s Justice Department announced that they found “mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia,” but that they also found “no evidence that would support a criminal prosecution.”
Obama’s Justice Department holds a new attorney general, but still remains the same Justice Department that cloaked former Attorney General Eric Holder to protect him from prosecution for his role in pumping countless guns to Mexican drug cartels during Operation Fast and Furious.
“What occurred is disquieting and may necessitate corrective action — but it does not warrant criminal prosecution,” Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Kadzik wrote.
“We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution,” he continued. “We also found no evidence that any official involved in the handling of tax-exempt applications or IRS leadership attempted to obstruct justice.
“Based on the evidence developed in this investigation and the recommendation of experienced career prosecutors and supervising attorneys at the department, we are closing our investigation and will not seek any criminal charges.”
Lerner has been at the forefront of the controversy surrounding her leadership of the IRS’ tax-exempt division that was responsible for assessing tax-exempt statuses for nonprofits. For several years between 2010 and 2013, the IRS maintained a policy of harassment for countless upstart nonprofits that were created in the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling that loosened campaign finance restrictions.
During this time, the Tea Party Movement surged and helped deliver Republicans a sweeping victory in the midterms of 2010, taking back control of the House and delivering several crucial seats in the Senate. During the run-up to the 2012 elections, when Barack Obama was seeking re-election, these Tea Party and conservative groups were targeted for harassment by the IRS that stalled their routine applications in order to intrude into the private workings of the groups.
While it was common to receive questions concerning the nature of the nonprofit applying for tax-exempt status, the requirements for conservative- and only conservative- nonprofits became more bizarre. Lerner’s IRS asked for membership rosters, emails between members, social media postings and even asked for lists of reading materials consumed by members and topics of conversation at meetings.
The routine process was stalled for many Tea Party and conservative groups who not only were burdened with the uncertainty and the invasive questions into their political activity, but with declining memberships from concerned conservatives who did not want to be politically involved if the government was so motivated to dig-into the political beliefs of members.
Lerner has been at the heart of the investigation that has revealed a troubling pattern of politically-motivated abuse dedicated to squashing legitimate political dissent.
Her comments before and during the vendetta have suggested a blinding political motivation and during the congressional inquiries, Lerner has evaded questions concerning her role. She has retired from the IRS, but will live the rest of her life with a cushy pension package that will be funded by the very taxpayers she victimized for years who, ironically, often called for an end to taxpayer-funded bureaucratic inefficiency.
Lerner has been held in contempt of Congress for her unwillingness to answer questions posed by congressional investigators.
Lerner’s escape from prosecution is a blow for those who support the very tenets of a free society, but it is not altogether surprising. The hyper-partisan Obama Administration has a long history of circling the wagons around administration insiders who have dutifully conducted the nefarious bidding of the most-radical presidency in U.S. history.