Earlier we learned that in 2010, the IRS sent a massive data base full of confidential information belonging to [conservative] tax exempt groups to the FBI just before the 2010 midterm elections. The information was sent after collaboration and agreement between former IRS head of tax exempt groups Lois Lerner and DOJ Election Crimes Branch official Richard Pilger that tax exempt groups needed to be investigated.
Fast forward to four years later and the Department of Justice has been tapped to "investigate" the IRS targeting of conservative groups, even though they were involved in the targeting themselves. This conflict of interest, which involves the Public Integrity Division, FBI and the Civil Division inside DOJ, has members of the House Oversight Committee crying fowl and reiterating the need for a special prosecutor, not DOJ, to investigate the targeting of conservative groups.
“We are aghast to learn that the Justice Department worked with the IRS to assemble a massive database of nonprofit groups, and that this database included confidential taxpayer information that the Department is not authorized to possess. The creation of such an illicit and comprehensive registry by federal law-enforcement officials is concerning in and of itself. Yet, the creation of a registry at the same time that the Department considered possible investigatory steps against nonprofit groups engaged in political speech is alarming. This evidence is a clear indication that the Justice Department took affirmative steps to examine nonprofit groups engaged in otherwise lawful political speech," Chairman Darrell Issa and Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Tuesday. "Additionally, the revelation that the Justice Department worked with the IRS to compile a massive database of nonprofit information, including confidential taxpayer information, further undermines the integrity of the Department’s investigation of the IRS targeting. The Committee has already obtained information that the Civil Rights Division attorney leading the investigation has an apparent conflict of interest. Now we know that the other two Justice Department components involved in the investigation – the Public Integrity Section and the FBI – also have serious conflicts of interest stemming from their interaction with Lois Lerner in October 2010. For these reasons, we reiterate the overwhelmingly bipartisan position of the House of Representatives that the appointment of a special counsel is warranted to investigate potential criminal wrongdoing."
Further, Issa and Jordan are demanding Holder provide the following information to the Committee for review:
1. All documents and communications between or among employees of the Department of Justice and employees of the Internal Revenue Service referring or relating to the 21 disks of nonprofit information transmitted from the Internal Revenue Service to the Justice Department on or around October 6, 2010;
2. All documents and communications between or among employees of the Department of Justice and employees of the Internal Revenue Service referring or relating to the production of the 21 disks of nonprofit information to the Committee on June 2, 2014; and
3. All documents and communications between or among employees of the Department of Justice and employees of the Internal Revenue Service referring or relating to the discovery of confidential taxpayer information protection by I.R.C. § 6103 on the 21 disks of nonprofit information produced to the Committee on June 2, 2014.
Editor's note: bolding is mine.
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her new book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, will be published on July 8, 2014.|
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