New House GOP Report Reignites IRS Scandal

Too late now to plead the Fifth?

John D. McKinnon writes:  A new report by House Republicans concludes that former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner engaged in wide-ranging, politically motivated efforts to hamper conservatives’ use of tax-exempt organizations.

“Can you please send me a copy of the Crossroads [GPS] application? Lois wants Judy to take a look at it so she can summarize the issues for Lois…”

— IRS email from mid-2011

The report by Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Ms. Lerner “believed the political participation of tax-exempt organizations harmed Democratic candidates, she believed something needed to be done, and she directed action from her unit at the IRS.”

It concluded Ms. Lerner’s actions went beyond targeting tea-party groups for lengthy examination. It said she also directed scrutiny of larger organizations already acting as tax-exempt organizations, such as “those supported by the ‘Koch Brothers,’ ” who are wealthy conservative donors. Read the full WSJ story here.

When the IRS scandal broke almost a year ago, Republicans initially trumpeted their suspicions that the IRS was acting at the behest of Democratic leaders, including the White House. Those suspicions so far have not been borne out, but the new report could help Republicans get the focus back on politics.

The report also appears aimed at building a case for seeking to hold Ms. Lerner in contempt of Congress. She has declined to answer congressional questions, citing her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

Newly disclosed emails show Ms. Lerner also took an interest in the application for tax-exempt status by Crossroads GPS, a big conservative player in the 2012 election that was co-founded by Karl Rove.

“Can you please send me a copy of the Crossroads [GPS] application? Lois wants Judy to take a look at it so she can summarize the issues for Lois,” says an IRS email from mid-2011 that is quoted in the report….Read the rest…

Law Blog -WSJ

2 Comments on “New House GOP Report Reignites IRS Scandal”

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