The Federal Bureau of Investigation likely won’t file criminal charges over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, officials said Monday. And now prominent conservatives are voicing their displeasure.
The FBI’s investigation has so far shown no evidence of “enemy hunting,” officials familiar with the situation told the Wall Street Journal, adding that the agency has found nothing that would merit criminal charges.
Rather, officials explained, the DOJ’s investigation turned up evidence of a poorly managed agency run by agents unfamiliar with guidelines or enforcement policy.
Now it’s important to remember that the investigation is ongoing. Still, according to the Journal’s sources, unless something incredible turns up soon, it appears unlikely criminal charges will be brought against anyone connected to the scandal.
The likely outcome of the Department of Justice’s investigation probably won’t put to rest fears that the IRS — a powerful arm of the Unite States government — was used to harass conservative groups applying for non-exempt tax status. Also, the fact that the Democratic trial attorney leading the DOJ investigation is also a major Obama donor probably won’t help anything either.
It’s true: Barbara Bosserman donated roughly $6,750 in 12 different contributions to Obama over two campaign cycles, Fox News reported.
“She also made two contributions to the Democratic National Committee, one in 2004 and another in 2008,” the report adds.
“Given the circumstances, there is little reason for the American people to have confidence in this investigation,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said in a statement shortly after the Wall Street Journal reported the DOJ probably wouldn’t bring charges against the IRS.
“Anonymous — and apparently politically motivated — leaks from unnamed law enforcement officials further undermine the public assurances by the current and former FBI directors that this is a legitimate investigation. These leaks come after the Justice Department, citing the confidential nature of the investigation, refused to brief Congress on its progress and congressional investigators independently discovered that a high dollar contributor to the Obama Administration failed to recuse herself,” the letter adds.
“These revelations further undermine the credibility of the Attorney General Holder and the Justice Department under his leadership. Given the circumstances, there is little reason for the American people to have confidence in this investigation.”
The Justice Department in a statement defended its decision to hand Bosserman the investigation, saying it cannot question appointees about their political affiliations.
Obviously, this defense hasn’t quieted the DOJ’s critics.
“They say the fox isn’t good to guard the henhouse; the fox is probably not good to investigate the henhouse, either,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said. “I think these investigations need to be done by independent people outside of the administration.”
Several of the conservative groups that were allegedly targeted for political reasons by the IRS claim the DOJ has not contacted them for information regarding the scandal.
“After seven months of no contact from federal investigators, a small number of our clients recently received a request for an interview from the FBI,” ACLJ senior counsel Jay Sekulow said late last week.
Only 10 of Sekulow’s 41 clients have so far been contacted by the DOJ.
The IRS said on Jan. 6 that it believes the investigation is on “the home stretch.”
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