Home / Blog / Article


August 11 2017

How Is Trump's IRS Different from Obama's? It's Not Different

by Charlotte Hays

Quote of the Day:

To this day, conservative nonprofits are being toyed with by the IRS. The Texas Patriots Tea Party has waited five years for tax-exempt status and has continued to receive round after round of intrusive agency questions, long after the scandal was exposed and the IRS promised reform.

--Kimberly Strassel in the Wall Street Journal

 

The Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups applying for nonprofit status and subsequently escaping any consequences of these actions arguably contributed enormously to Donald Trump's election as president.

So now the IRS has turned over relevant documents pertaining to the targeting and partisan agents and lawyers involved have been let go, right?

No. As Kimberly Strassel writes in this morning's Wall Street Journal the Trump Justice Department continues to "doggedly" defend misdeeds of the IRS.

IRS bureaucrats such as Lois Lerner (now living in cushy taxpayer-funded retirement) "stripped the right to political speech from thousands of Americans over two election cycles" by dragging out the process required to become a nonprofit for conservative organizations. Some have argued that this affected the outcome of the 2010 midterms and the 2012 presidential election.

The agency displayed a stunning ability to simply not produce papers demanded by Congress and the arrogance of IRS officials who came before Congress revealed very little beyond disdain for Congress. It was an eye opener about how the swamp protects itself. And Strassel reports that it is still going on:

The groups targeted are still doggedly trying to obtain justice through lawsuits that have dragged on for years. They believed Mr. Trump’s election would bring an end to the government obstruction. It hasn’t. “The posture of the DOJ and the IRS under the Trump administration is identical to the posture under the Obama administration,” Mark Meckler, president of Citizens for Sound Governance, tells me. “Nothing has changed.”

Mr. Meckler was one of the founders of Tea Party Patriots. His current organization is funding a class-action suit in Ohio federal court on behalf of groups targeted by the IRS. So far the effort has cost $3 million.

That money is now going to fight Mr. Trump’s administration. In recent months the Justice Department has continued refusing to hand over documents or make witnesses available for depositions. The plaintiffs finally managed to depose Ms. Lerner and another key IRS player, Holly Paz, earlier this summer. But their counsels successfully demanded that the transcripts be kept secret from the public. As former federal employees, Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz are presumably getting backup from government lawyers.

The Justice Department has asked for a summary judgment in the suit, scheduled to be heard next year. This is unlikely, but it does further drain the plaintiffs' resources.

And indicates the extent to which one swamp--the IRS--has yet to be drained.

 

 

 

 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
Follow us