Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who this week called the IRS a "criminal enterprise," says the announcement Friday that former agency official Lois Lerner will not be charged for allegedly spearheading the targeting of conservative groups is not unexpected.
"I don't think any of us are that surprised. The Justice Department is very selective in how they pursue criminal charges. What they are good at, what the IRS is good at, is harassing Americans who are innocent," Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, said on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"By the time they get through the harassment, Americans wish they were guilty just to get it over with because they have unlimited resources of the government. They put a lot of people out of business."
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On Friday, the Justice Department told Congress it is ending its two-year probe into whether the IRS targeted conservative, tea party and religious groups. It said Lerner, who oversaw screening applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status, will not be charged. Nor will her former staff.
During the investigation, the IRS claimed to have lost many of the emails to and from Lerner, somewhat thwarting the probe.
"It's stunning to me that this very IRS that demands I keep every receipt so if they audit me, I have to prove that I really did pay what I said I paid," Huckabee said.
"But they can lose an entire hard drive's worth of emails and correspondence and that somehow is perfectly OK, even though it violated every federal protocol there was about record keeping and having proper backups. I just don't buy it.
"There are two sets of rules in this country, one for those in power and one for all the rest of America who are getting screwed, screwed over by their government whether it's in their taxes, whether it's in the criminal justice system, and Americans are fed up with it."
This week, Huckabee told CBN's "The Brody File" that the IRS is a "criminal enterprise" that should be "put to death."
"They use the extraordinary, almost unlimited power of government that they have and they use it to attack political enemies. They use it to attack conservatives, pro-Israel groups. They hide the records, they destroy the records," Huckabee said.
Huckabee is the author of "God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy,"
published by St. Martin’s Press.
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