Proof that Lois Lerner and DOJ Targeted Tea Party Groups

Lois LernerIf you needed proof that former IRS Commissioner Lois Lerner conspired with the Department of Justice to target (and look into criminal prosecution of) Tea Party groups, now you’ve got it. A recent FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request by Judicial Watch revealed damning evidence that the IRS and DOJ looked to damage and prosecute political enemies of President Obama.

These newly released IRS documents appear to be the “smoking gun” that prove the allegations against Ms. Lerner, and show internal communications between Lerner and Nicole Flax, then-Chief of Staff to then-Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller. They discussed plans to work with the DOJ to prosecute non-profit groups that supposedly “lied” about political activities.

Here are excerpts of an e-mail from Lerner to Flax:

I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ … He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s (sic) could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s – saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures.

DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs.

On May 10, 2013, Lerner tried to pin the blame for targeting Tea Party groups on “low-level employees” in a speech to the American Bar Association.

However, a May 15 e-mail exchange between aide Nancy Marks and Lerner proved this alibi false. Ms. Marks specifically mentioned “Tea Party Organizations,” the “Tea Party movement,” and “Tea Party Patriots” as organizations targeted by the IRS.

The Judicial Watch revelation confirms a May 14, 2013 Treasury Inspector General report which initially revealed that inappropriate criteria were used to identify tax-exempt applications for review.