The Department of Justice announced a settlement with the pro-Israel group Z Street Thursday after the organization was unfairly targeted by the IRS during the Obama administration.
“Tax exemption eligibility should be based on whether an organization’s activities fulfill requirements of the law, not a group’s policy positions or the name chosen to reflect those views,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman released in a statement. “The attorneys at the Department of Justice work hard to ensure that all Americans receive equal treatment under the law. Today’s settlement further illustrates this commitment.”
Z Street officials were loudly outspoken against President Obama's policy on Iran and the Iran nuclear agreement.
According to DOJ, this is the final settlement in a series of lawsuits brought against the IRS by number of conservative, tea party and right-leaning organizations. Settlements have been made with True the Vote, Linchpins of Liberty and the Norcal Tea Patriots.
"It is improper for the IRS to single out groups for different treatment based on their names or ideological positions. Any entitlement to tax exemption should be based on the activities of the organization and whether they fulfill requirements of the law, not the policy positions adopted by members or the name chosen to reflect those views," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “There is no excuse for this conduct. Hundreds of organizations were affected by these actions, and they deserve an apology from the IRS. We hope that today’s settlement makes clear that this abuse of power will not be tolerated.”
Between 2010 and 2012, former IRS Director of Tax Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner went after hundreds of conservative organizations and raked in more than $100,000 in bonuses. After pleading the Fifth in front of a congressional committee investigating the scandal, Lerner retired early with a full pension.