Bob Barr

“Finding out that IRS Commissioner [John] Koskinen jumped the gun in reporting to Congress that the IRS ‘confirmed’ all back-up tapes had been destroyed makes me even more suspicious of why he waited months to inform Congress about lost Lois Lerner e-mails,” Issa said in a statement following Kane’s testimony. The apparent flip-flop on such a crucial component of the investigation raises the prospect that the IRS was floating the lie about the tapes in order to see if it could escape prosecution; and when it became clear Issa had no intention of relenting in his pursuit, they are now backtracking to avoid additional charges. For instance, a U.S. Archivist recently told a congressional committee the IRS “did not follow the law” by failing to report the loss of Lerner’s emails.

The only thing we know for sure is the IRS is doing everything it can to bury the evidence and the truth. This presents an interesting moral quandary for Democrats, who for years watched in silence as the Obama Administration ran roughshod over every conceivable safeguard against government corruption. “If the government is right in [the Tea Party] case, it means that from now on, no matter who the president is, the IRS can pick out a group of people that disagrees with the president and pull those people out, delay them, harass them, target them, and there's nothing anyone can do about it,” says Edward Greim, the attorney representing the Tea Party groups suing the IRS.

The refusal to so much as even impliedly question Obama’s lawlessness reflects how Democrats have painted themselves into a corner. By remaining silent in the face of repeated Administration scandals over the last six years, Democrats became complicit in likely criminal behavior of the Administration. Furthermore, as Greim highlighted, their silence sets a dangerous precedent of a virtually unchecked Executive Branch; one that eventually will fall back into the hands Republicans sooner than Democrats care to admit -- ironically because of this refusal to speak out against misconduct.

The manner in which Democrats in the House and the Senate have served to defend and enable the Administration’s brazen lawlessness should – hopefully will – hurt them at the polls this fall. In the meantime, Judge Dlott’s interim ruling permitting the Tea Party lawsuit against IRS abuses to move forward, is an important reminder the rule of law still burns in America, if dimly and sporadically.

Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.