Documents released today by Judicial Watch show the Department of Justice colluding with the Internal Revenue Service to cook up criminal prosecutions of targeted non-profit conservative groups.
The newly obtained records include an official “DOJ Recap” report detailing an October 2010 meeting between Lois Lerner, DOJ officials and the FBI. The documents also reveal that the Obama DOJ wanted IRS employees who were going to testify to Congress to turn over documents to the DOJ before giving them to Congress.
Records also detail how the Obama IRS gave the FBI 21 computer disks, containing 1.25 million pages of confidential IRS returns from 113,000 nonprofit social 501(c)(4) welfare groups – or nearly every 501(c)(4) in the United States – as part of its prosecution effort. According to a letter from then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, “This revelation likely means that the IRS – including possibly Lois Lerner – violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Justice Department.”
The documents were produced subsequent to court orders in two Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits: Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:14-cv-1956) and Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:14-cv-1239).
“These new documents show that the Obama IRS scandal is also an Obama DOJ and FBI scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FBI and Justice Department worked with Lois Lerner and the IRS to concoct some reason to put President Obama’s opponents in jail before his reelection. And this abuse resulted in the FBI’s illegally obtaining confidential taxpayer information. How can the Justice Department and FBI investigate the very scandal in which they are implicated?”
In January of 2014, Senator Ted Cruz sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to look into actions by the tax-collecting agency.
In a letter dated March 10, the Justice Department rejected the request, saying that a special counsel is typically appointed when “an investigation or prosecution by the DOJ presents a conflict of interest, or in other extraordinary circumstances, such that the public interest would be served by such an appointment.”
The letter, signed by principal deputy assistant attorney general Peter Kadzik, said that the request was denied because “a conflict of interest did not exist.”
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