HOUSE WAYS & MEANS ASKS DOJ TO INVESTIGATE IRS TARGETING: All Republicans on the House Ways & Means Committee, chaired by Paul Ryan, sent a letter Thursday to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, asking her to answer the committee’s 2014 request for criminal prosecution of IRS officials involved in the targeting of conservative groups. Writes Kimberley Strassel:
It’s now been two full years since a little-known IRS bureaucrat named Lois Lerner admitted that her agency systematically collected the names of conservative groups, harassed them, and denied their right to participate in elections. It’s been two full years since the Justice Department opened an investigation. And it’s been two full years of crickets. . . .
Specifically, the committee provided documents that show three acts by Ms. Lerner that may have violated criminal statutes. One, she helped to target only conservative organizations, thereby robbing them of equal protection and due process. Two, she may have impeded the Treasury inspector general’s investigation of the matter by giving misleading statements. Three, she risked exposing (and may have exposed) confidential taxpayer information by using her personal email address to conduct official business.
And that’s only what we know so far. Congress’s problem is that the IRS has stonewalled it at every turn. The Treasury inspector general, J. Russell George, has become tentative after all the Democratic criticism of his probe. It seems the Justice Department is the only body with the powers to shake loose some answers about what happened.
The Ryan letter asks Ms. Lynch to tell him the status of that referral, and Speaker Boehner chimed in with a statement calling for the new attorney general to prove to Americans that “justice will be served.”
I won’t hold my breath for “justice” coming out of Obama’s DOJ, even now that Eric Holder has departed. But at least the Republicans in the House are following up.