New documents obtained by Judicial Watch reveal that the Department of Justice knew back in 2011 that the Internal Revenue Service was targeting Tea Party groups, and yet they did nothing about it.
The documents show that a senior IRS official had told the FBI that "Cincinnati was categorizing cases based on name and ideology, not just activity." Another IRS official told the bureau that he had seen the document that specifically mandated targeting groups that were labeled as "Tea Party.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reports:
One tax exempt case in March or April 2011 “seemed to be pulled because of the applicant’s political affiliation and screening is not supposed to occur that way,” an unidentified IRS senior tax law specialist noted. “When organizations’ applications are pulled, you have to stay away from their political affiliations and your own.”
“She has been taught from day one by her manager that you need to avoid personal views and look at legal criteria,” FBI documents show. “She wanted to alert the managers about the way the cases were being pulled.”
Lois Lerner, who ran the IRS at the time, was eventually alerted about the practice and reportedly told the agency to end the targeting because it was "extraordinarily inappropriate and dangerous to use names as a way to refer to and select cases," but the targeting continued for two years. (A full timeline of the IRS scandal can be seen here.)
At best, Lerner incompetently mismanaged the agency; at worst, Lerner didn't have that big of a problem with the targeting that went on. After all, Lerner has reportedly shown disrespect for the law, evidence indicating that she illegally gave tax documents containing sensitive information to the DOJ.
Regardless, she was never held to account for what the IRS did, as she "retired with her pension and raked in a $129,300 bonus," notes the DCNF.
Despite evidence of the abuses of the IRS, the DOJ did nothing about it. Instead, they claimed the agency had done nothing wrong.
"We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt or other inappropriate motive," the DOJ announced back in October 2015.
The DOJ continues to undermine the rule of law in favor of politics, the kind of thing that is seen in banana republics.