The scandal involving the IRS has been going on now for three years. The actual crimes started being committed back in 2009 during the first year of the Obama Administration. It’s been three years that Attorney General Eric Holder has been investigating.
At issue is the holdup on status for 292 conservative. or tea party political action committees. These groups have never received a determination letter from the IRS. The IRS asked for detailed information from the groups, such as their membership lists (illegal) and copies of all the speeches the group has sponsored (also illegal). After the group complies with the IRS requests, they hear nothing for a year until they are sent another list of demands for information. Without this determination they are stopped from collecting contributions to run their activities. If the IRS had rejected their applications, they could have appealed and received a judgement at a higher level. As it is, they have nothing to appeal since they haven’t received any ruling at all.
During Obama’s sit down with Bill O’Reilly before the Super Bowl, the President stated there was no evidence that anything improper had happened. Obama acted as though the investigation was over. There was an earlier investigation that cleared the agency of any wrong doing. That one was done by the IRS itself, and they didn’t uncover anything they had done wrong.
To date, three years into the investigation, no one has interviewed any of the 292 victims of the IRS abuse. Most, but not all, have still not received a determination letter from the IRS. Some groups did get approval on the eve of hearings in which they were to testify about the abuse.
Lois Lerner, the supervisor who was in charge of the 501c(3) and 501c(4) applicants, has appeared before Congress twice, and taken the 5th Amendment both times to ensure her right not to incriminate herself of any crimes. It is expected Lerner will be found in contempt of Congress and could be jailed until she testifies. Ms. Lerner holds vital information as to who issued the order to discriminate against the conservative groups. Maybe now is the time to create a select committee in the House of Representatives that has the power to issue subpoenas to finally get to the bottom of this scandal. A special prosecutor may be next.
Attorney General Eric Holder should also be investigated for not investigating the IRS. Holder has been stalling from the beginning. He himself was cited for contempt of Congress until Obama issued Executive Privilege to save him.
This problem crosses party lines. If not corrected now, when the GOP gains control of the White House, the other side may find themselves being discriminated against. Using the power of the government to silence the opposition is a very scary thing. We can not allow these practices to continue.
What is needed is for the House of Representatives to take bold action to move this investigation forward. The same holds true for Benghazi and the other scandals facing this White House.