Amidst the flood of bad news is a piece of very good news.
In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), headed at the time by Lois Lerner, admitted it was applying extra scrutiny to conservative groups applying for nonprofit status. Lerner said:
“That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. … The IRS would like to apologize for that.”
As usual, Congress was totally useless in their investigation and hearings, as NOTHING happened to Lerner (she had already resigned from the IRS) or the other IRS employees who engaged in the criminal harassment of conservatives, Christians, and Tea Party groups by singling them out for special scrutiny and audit.
It took a lone federal judge to do what Congress should have done.
Brooke Singman for Fox News, Aug. 21, 2017, that after years of litigation by conservative groups against the IRS’ targeting, Judge Reggie B. Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ordered the IRS to:
- Release the names of specific IRS employees involved in targeting Tea Party groups.
- Provide information about which groups and individuals were targeted and why.
- Provide assurance — a strategy — that such targeting doesn’t happen again.
- Search for further related records in other agency databases for the time period spanning 2009 to March 27, 2015. Judge Walton gave the IRS until Oct. 16 to complete the search.
Chris Farrell, director of investigations and research at Judicial Watch whose organization is also involved in litigation with the IRS on this issue, told Fox News that the IRS owes litigants “real accountability”:
“This was creepy, chilling stuff. Judge Walton has accomplished more with one ruling than all of the rest of the federal government—all three branches—over the last six years. The IRS is one of the most feared government agencies, and they’ve gotten a pass, in part. Walton is looking for real accountability and that’s so important.”
True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said:
“We’re thrilled the judge has taken this step and it feels good to have it recognized that they need to be held to account. What happened to me was very personal—my name was thrown around the IRS, and the names of the people involved need to be known. What they did was criminal.”
Engelbrecht also said that “the fight” under the Trump administration has been “every bit as difficult” as it was under the Obama administration:
“They are still entrenched on the idea that the IRS did nothing wrong and all of America now knows that is not the case. What we’re fighting for is we want to see a policy that prohibits viewpoint discrimination. Holding the IRS accountable and personalizing it is a great step forward to coax each one out of their den of thieves. We are fighting on behalf of all Americans, because if it could happen to us, it can happen to anyone.”
A Justice Department spokesperson told Fox News:
“We are reviewing the order and will respond accordingly. We do not comment on pending litigation.”
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