Tags: IRS Scandal | IRS | investigations | Lois Lerner | delay | emails | lost

Congress: Obama Stonewalling IRS Probes

By    |   Sunday, 10 May 2015 04:02 PM

Congressional investigations into IRS targeting of tea party groups do not appear close to wrapping up two years after first being uncovered, The Hill reports.

Republicans are "deeply irritated" the probes have yet to be completed, according to The Hill, and blame the Obama administration for stonewalling.

Emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner have been slow coming in, which has hindered the investigation. Originally, thousands of Lerner's emails were said to have been lost and were unrecoverable.

Critics didn't buy that excuse, and since, more emails actually have been recovered, though they aren't making their way to Congress as quickly as Republicans would like. Of the 64,000 most recently recovered emails, only 50,000 have found their way to congressional committees, The Hill notes.

"Every time we turn around we get more emails," Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch told The Hill. He said he had originally hoped to see the bipartisan Finance Committee report released by the end of June, but that doesn't look likely now. It was first slated for release a year ago.

Another problem with the probes, according to The Hill, is that the case against the IRS doesn't seem as strong now as it once did even among Republicans. Democrats always have maintained that the issue was one more of failed bureaucracy rather than political targeting.

But a half-dozen tea party groups have said they still haven't received an answerto whether they will be granted tax-exempt status. No response at all puts them in a position even worse than being denied the status, because they are unable to appeal the decision and move forward. They also have trouble getting donations, and members have quit for fear of being personally audited.

"It's clear the IRS would like this scandal to disappear," said Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents many of the tea party groups suing the IRS.

Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam, who chairs the subcommittee overseeing the IRS, told The Hill that there is no targeting currently, "when the entire world is watching," but added that the IRS has not demonstrated it is doing anything to stop it from happening again.

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said he doesn't believe the current Justice Department has any interest in pursuing the issue, saying former Attorney General Eric Holder should have named a special prosecutor.

Still, Republicans hold out hope, with Roskam noting that the statute of limitations doesn’t lapse until after the new administration comes in in 2017.

"So you could very easily see a newly constituted Justice Department having a new attitude about Lerner," Roskam told The Hill.

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Congressional investigations into IRS targeting of tea party groups do not appear close to wrapping up two years after first being uncovered, The Hill reports.
IRS, investigations, Lois Lerner, delay, emails, lost, tea party groups, targeted
Sunday, 10 May 2015 04:02 PM
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