April 11, 2014

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: The IRS Scandal Comes Into Focus: House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp lays out damning evidence of Lois Lerner’s targeting of conservative groups.

Nearly a year into the IRS scandal, we still don’t know exactly what happened—though we are finally getting an inkling. That’s thanks to the letter House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp sent this week to the Justice Department recommending a criminal probe of Lois Lerner.

The average citizen might be dizzied by the torrent of confusing terms—BOLO lists, Tigta, 501(c)(4)—and the array of accusations that have made up this IRS investigation. Mr. Camp’s letter takes a step back to remind us why this matters, even as it provides compelling new information that goes to motive and method—and clarifies some of the curious behavior of Democrats during the investigation. . . .

n 2012, both the IRS and Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings were targeting the group True the Vote. We now have email showing contact between a Cummings staffer and the IRS over that organization. How much more contact was there? It’s one thing to write a public letter calling on a regulator to act. It’s another to haul the regulator in front of your committee, or have your staff correspond with or pressure said regulator, with regard to ongoing actions. That’s a no-no.

The final merit of Mr. Camp’s letter is that he’s called out Justice and Democrats. Mr. Camp was careful in laying out the ways Ms. Lerner may have broken the law, with powerful details. Democrats can’t refute the facts, so instead they are howling about all manner of trivia—the release of names, the “secret” vote to release taxpayer information. But it remains that they are putting themselves on record in support of IRS officials who target groups, circumvent rules, and potentially break the law. That ought to go down well with voters.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Emails Suggest Collusion Between IRS, Rep. Cummings in True the Vote Targeting.