No Charges for Lerner at IRS: “Targeting Conservatives and Pro-Israel Groups Not Criminal” Says D.O.J.
She was accused of leading a supposedly neutral government department that targeted not-for-profit groups based on their political leaning, but after an investigation by the Department of Justice, Lois Lerner has been cleared, reports CNN:
The probe found “substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia leading to the belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted them based on their political viewpoints. But poor management is not a crime,” Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik said in the letter.
The IRS scandal exploded in May 2013 when Lerner answered a planted question at an American Bar Association event and apologized for inappropriately scrutinizing some groups applying for a tax exemption. Her response fueled a full-on scandal within hours that shook the Obama administration. Congressional hearings were held within weeks and the interim leader of the IRS was forced from office.
Despite complaint after complaint of harassment by conservative leaning groups that they were given extended scrutiny and treated unfairly, the investigation said nothing found would lead to charges.
Kadzik found “no evidence” to support a criminal prosecution.
“We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution,” Kadzik said. “We also found no evidence that any official involved in the handling of tax-exempt applications or IRS leadership attempted to obstruct justice. Based on the evidence developed in this investigation and the recommendation of experienced career prosecutors and supervising attorneys at the department, we are closing our investigation and will not seek any criminal charges.”
While Democrats welcomed the announcement, Republicans claimed it showed government officials were above the law.