An inspector general’s audit more than two years ago discovered that the IRS had singled out Tea Party groups for scrutiny of their tax exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections.
In turn, multiple congressional committees and the Justice Department embarked on an investigation of the scandal.
Now, the Justice Department has announced its decision: there will be no criminal charges brought by the department against Lois Lerner or other IRS officials.
The Justice Department’s letter was addressed to the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee and stated that, while “mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia” were discovered, the department found “no evidence that would support a criminal prosecution.”
Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Kadzik wrote: “What occurred is disquieting and may necessitate corrective action — but it does not warrant criminal prosecution.”
The Department of Justice letter stated that there was no evidence that Lerner exercised her authority in a “partisan manner generally,” or that her political views impacted the way she addressed the tax-exempt applications.
It noted that she did, however, exercise “poor judgement” in using her IRS email account to send personal messages that voiced “political views.”
Lerner has since retired.
The letter found “no one person” responsible, and blamed “discrete mistakes by line-level revenue agents.”
Lerner was voted to be in contempt of Congress last year by the House after she refused to answer questions at two House Oversight hearings.
What do you think of the decision by the Justice Department to not criminally prosecute Lerner or other IRS officials?