Rep. Kevin Brady and Rep. Peter Roskam asked the Justice Department recently to take a look at new evidence against former senior executive of IRS Lois G. Lerner to determine whether charges should be filed against her for targeting Tea Party groups and misplacing key evidence in the case.
An investigation by the Obama administration cleared Ms. Lerner, but the two top Republicans say there are several questions on how that probe was run, and that a fresh look at the case by the Trump administration’s Justice Department is clearly needed.
“Taxpayers deserve to know that the DOJ’s previous evaluation was not tainted by politics,” the congressmen wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
However, Ms. Lerner’s lawyer, William Taylor, claimed she was adequately cleared of all charges in the previous investigation.
“Ms. Lerner did not violate any laws. There is no evidence that she did and no new investigation will change that reality,” he wrote in an email to The Washington Times on Wednesday.
The IRS’ targeting scheme came under the spotlight almost four years ago, when Ms. Lerner, looking to escape bad news from an investigation by the inspector general, planted a question at a conference, revealing that the agency had indeed, been scrutinizing conservative groups.
The IRS leadership had repeatedly refuted any claims of such targeting in responses to Congress’ questioning.
While her exact role remains unclear, Ms. Lerner was a key figure in the probe.
Republicans claim that she helped plan the targeting. They even released emails showing hostility towards the GOP and other conservative groups. However, the Obama administration, in addition to clearing her of any wrongdoings, said she was in reality, trying to help fix things from the inside, and was actually the first official to realize what the agency was doing was not right.