Part of orchestrated attack on conservatives during re-election campaign
Many conservatives across American remember vividly the campaign orchestrated by the Internal Revenue Service under Barack Obama to target conservative organizations.
Those included many of the Tea Party groups, as well as many Christian organizations that shared a vision of fewer government burdens on their faith, and more.
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Their appropriately filed requests for IRS tax status were delayed, denied and sometimes just ignored, with Lois Lerner, then director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS, pushing much of the agenda.
Now, years later, Americans apparently are going to discover what Lerner said in explaining the scheme.
It is government watchdog Judicial Watch that has announced a court has ordered the release of Lerner’s testimony, along with that of Holly Paz, her top aide.
The conservative organizations all were targeted just as Obama was running for his second term, and they wanted to be able to express opinions in opposition to the leftist president’s agenda.
The ruling from the U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio, Western Division, came in a case brought by NorCal Tea Party Patriots, and concerned the depositions from Lerner and Paz that were ordered sealed by a judge in 2017, after lawyers for the two claimed they were being threatened.
Judicial Watch had joined the case with a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the request that the testimonies be revealed as they could “shed light on government misconduct … on the grounds that shielding internal government deliberations in this context does not serve the public’s interest in honest, effective government.”
The lawsuit eventually was ended when the government reached a settlement that included $3.5 million in payments to the various groups.
Judicial Watch reported, “In settling the case, the DOJ admitted the IRS abused its power and the criteria it used to screen applications for 501(c) status was inappropriate.”
But the testimony has remain concealed, even though then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “The IRS’ use of these criteria as a basis for heightened scrutiny was wrong and should never have occurred. It is improper for the IRS to single out groups for different treatment based on their names or ideological positions. Any entitlement to tax exemption should be based on the activities of the organization and whether they fulfill requirements of the law, not the policy positions adopted by members or the name chosen to reflect those views.”