The Justice Department's probe into the Internal Revenue Service, run by a donor to the Obama campaign and the Democratic party, clearly lacks credibility, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), said.
This photo taken March 22, 2013, shows the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
“Based on everything we know, I don't know how any rationale person would say this investigation sure looks to be compromised,” Jordan, the chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs told TheBlaze.
Barbara Bosserman, a Justice Department trial attorney, is leading the DOJ/FBI investigation of the IRS. She donated at least $6,750 to President Barack Obama's campaigns and the Democratic National Committee. Bosserman was an Obama donor in the early stages of the president's 2008 primary campaign Hillary Clinton.
Jordan said there is no way to know if that's why she was assigned because of her partisan leanings, but he was curious why a civil rights attorney in the DOJ was assigned instead of an FBI agent.
Moreover, the House oversight committee, which has been investigating the IRS scandal, found Bosserman was leading the probe through interviews with other witnesses, after the FBI has spent months not answering basic questions on the matter from the committee, such as the lead agent on the case and whether victims of the IRS were interviewed.
The IRS admitted in May that it had targeted Tea Party and other conservative organizations who had applied for tax exempt status. Tea Party groups were asked to provide the tax agency with information such as the content of their prayers and why books they have read. Since the admission, acting IRS Commissioner Stephen Miller and exempt organizations head Lois Lerner resigned. But Congress still has many unanswered questions.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jordan sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for Bosserman's removal.
“It is unbelievable that the Department would choose such an individual to examine the federal government’s systematic targeting and harassment of organizations opposed to the President’s policies,” the letter states. “At the very least, Ms. Bosserman’s involvement is highly inappropriate and has compromised the Administration’s investigation of the IRS.”
Bosserman was a consistent donor to Obama in the 2008 race, making three $250 contributions in September and October of that year; one $750 donation in September; three $500 donations in January through March and two $300 contributions to Obama in February and March, according to the Center for Responsive Politics that tracks money in politics.
She continued giving to the president in 2012, contributing $1,000 to Obama's campaign in May, $500 in September and another $500 in November, days before the election. Bosserman also donated $400 to the DNC in 2004 and $250 in 2008.
It would violate policy to look at contributions before making an appointment because it could violate constitutional rights, Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson told The Washington Times.
“It is contrary to department policy and a prohibited personnel practice under federal law to consider the political affiliation of career employees or other non-merit factors in making personnel decisions,” Dena Iverson said.
Jordan did not buy the Justice Department's response, saying that in a case like this.
“That's baloney,” Jordan said. “It's not a hiring decision. They are not looking at campaign contributions to determine if they will or won't hire this person. That's a lame argument. The person selected for this should not be such a partisan, particularly when this is in the context of the IRS targeting conservative groups. Why not find someone who does not have partisan leanings.”
Tea parties targeted by the IRS are also concerned, said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the conservative American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing 41 tea party groups from 22 states that is suing the IRS for harassment.
“This is a troubling development that raises serious questions about the integrity of the investigation by the Justice Department,” Sekulow said in a statement. “The Obama Administration has promised to get to the bottom of the IRS scandal. But appointing an avowed political supporter of President Obama to head-up the Justice Department probe is not only disturbing but puts politics right in the middle of what is supposed to be an independent investigation to determine who is responsible for the Obama Administration's unlawful targeting of conservative and tea party groups because of their political beliefs.”
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