Tags: Barack Obama | IRS Scandal | Jason Chaffetz | IRS | documents | Lois Lerner

Jason Chaffetz: Expect News on Probe of IRS 'As Early As Next Week'

Image: Jason Chaffetz: Expect News on Probe of IRS 'As Early As Next Week'
(Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 24 Jul 2015 11:42 AM

Rep. Jason Chaffetz asserts there is evidence that the IRS intentionally targeted conservative groups under Lois Lerner, the former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit at the agency, and said "there will be news … as early as next week."

Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is leading the congressional investigation into the IRS scandal. On Thursday, he told a group at the Ripon Society in Washington, D.C., the IRS destroyed documents requested by the committee in March 2014.

"Probably the biggest thing our committee is looking at is the IRS," the Utah Republican said. "You have political targeting that is factual at this point. There are no ifs, ands or buts. You had groups within the IRS who were politically targeting conservatives and impeding their First Amendment rights. You're going to continue to hear more about this. Because when the targeting became evident, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee put in place a subpoena for the documents — a small window of Lois Lerner's emails.

"Internally, the IRS put a preservation order in place — don't destroy or get rid of any of these documents. These documents and emails were in the possession of the IRS. And on March 4, 2014, they destroyed them."

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Lerner resigned from her post at the IRS in September 2013 after she was placed on administrative leave in May of that year following the revelations.

Chaffetz said during his address at the Ripon Society the IRS deliberately defied orders by destroying the documents.

"Imagine if the IRS had given you a summons for you to produce documents," Chaffetz added. "You had them in your possession, and then you destroyed them. What would happen to you? Do you think they would say, 'Oh, darn it!' No, which is why Congress has to stand up for itself. You cannot — with a duly issued subpoena and eternal preservation order in place — go out and destroy documents and say there is no consequence to that; nobody's going to be held accountable, and nobody is at fault.

"And yet that's essentially what we've heard from the president, who has said repeatedly there is not even a 'smidgeon' of corruption. He was on 'The Daily Show' with Jon Stewart the other night and said, 'You know what the real scandal is? The real scandal is that the IRS is underfunded. They need more agents, more people, and Congress passed a bad law.'

"You know this ridiculous law the president is talking about? It was passed in 1913. He makes it look as if we had passed this law. That little detail he said on 'The Daily Show,' you're going to see that surface. We will continue to pursue this, and I promise you — there will be news on the IRS side as early as next week. So stay tuned."

It was recently reported that investigators found more than 1,400 emails tied to Lerner that were thought to have been deleted.

"They provide an exhaustive account of a meeting that Lois Lerner and other IRS folks had with the Department of Justice. ... It wasn't just the IRS stalling tea party applications, it was the Justice Department and the FBI talking about prosecuting these very groups," Tom Fitton, president of the government watchdog Judicial Watch, told Newsmax TV earlier this month.

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Rep. Jason Chaffetz asserts there is evidence that the IRS intentionally targeted conservative groups under Lois Lerner, the former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit at the agency, and said "there will be news ... as early as next week."
Jason Chaffetz, IRS, documents, Lois Lerner
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2015-42-24
Friday, 24 Jul 2015 11:42 AM
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