Paul L. Caron

Monday, February 12, 2018

The IRS Scandal, Day 1740: Former AG Eric Holder Says DOJ Should Not Have Apologized For IRS Targeting Of Tea Party Groups

IRS Logo 2Following up on my previous posts:

Washington Times, Eric Holder: DOJ Wrong to Apologize to Tea Party Groups For IRS Scandal:

Former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said the Trump administration was wrong to have apologized to tea party groups snared in the IRS’s targeting scandal, saying it was another example of the new team undercutting career people at the Justice Department who’d initially cleared the IRS of wrongdoing. “That apology was unnecessary, unfounded and inconsistent, it seems to me, with the responsibilities that somebody who would seek to lead the Justice Department should have done,” Mr. Holder said.

He’d ordered a criminal probe into the IRS’s handling of tea party applications after the 2013 revelation by an inspector general that the tax agency had subjected conservative groups to intrusive and inappropriate scrutiny when they applied for nonprofit status.

That probe eventually cleared the IRS, saying that while there was bungling, there was no ill intent. the probe specifically cleared former IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner, saying rather than a problem, she was actually a hero, reporting bad practices when she spotted them.

The Justice Department reversed that finding, though, in settlements reached with tea party groups over the last year that singled Ms. Lerner out as having approved of the intrusive behavior and yet hidden the practices from her supervisors in Washington.

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I'd only add that former AG Holder should never have lied to Congress. But since he did, why isn't he in jail like so many have argued recently regarding AG Sessions.

What a loser. Ethically and professionally...

Posted by: MM | Feb 18, 2018 5:14:16 PM

I'm surprised more people haven't noted the IRS's admission in the consent order. From my article in The Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ):

The lawsuit was prompted in large part after an IRS employee told Z Street lawyers on July 19, 2010, that “approval of Z Street’s application for tax-exempt status [was] delayed, and [might] be denied, because of a special IRS policy in place regarding organizations in any way connected with Israel, and further that the applications of many such Israel-related organizations have been assigned to ‘a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies.’”

Contradict the Administration's public policies. Doesn't that give any civil libertarian, regardless of political views, significant pause? Wouldn't an apology be a logical minimum component of any settlement where this fact is agreed by the parties to not be in dispute? See:

Posted by: Michael L. Wyland | Feb 13, 2018 8:01:48 AM

Of course she's his hero- she refused to talk. He declined to prosecute her for contempt. Her E-mails were destroyed. End of investigation. She retired on a fat pension and those above her skated. The Chicago Way.

Posted by: Smitty | Feb 12, 2018 2:33:15 PM

I guess Holder is arguing "alternative facts."

Posted by: Tuphat | Feb 12, 2018 10:27:39 AM

I guess Holder didn't bother to read the Consent Order by the Federal judge that blistered the IRS

Posted by: Eric | Feb 12, 2018 8:17:00 AM

Obama, Holder, Lynch: Wanted it to happen. Made it happen.

Posted by: DonM | Feb 12, 2018 8:01:55 AM

Thank you for your comprehensive coverage of this very important issue.

Posted by: Abe Carnow | Feb 12, 2018 7:19:41 AM

Is anyone surprised that he'd defend the actions (or inactions) of DOJ during his tenure? The real question is do his self-serving statements have any credibility. At this juncture, I can't say they do with me.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Feb 12, 2018 4:04:26 AM