Recall the despicable mistreatment of conservative Tea Party groups by the IRS as led by the Obama administration. No doubt there were those within that agency who objected to what was happening. Yet a fish rots from the head down, and with Lois Lerner as head of the Exempt Organizations unit, much rottenness was unleashed on those conservative groups.
The politicization of government agencies, especially those with prosecutorial or enforcement powers, is a constant danger. It’s just too easy for corrupt politicians to take a short cut to accomplishing their purposes by compromising such agencies and getting them to work on their behalf. Hence, aggressive oversight is essential.
President Trump’s Department of Justice has settled lawsuits by conservative groups whose applications for tax-exempt status were delayed solely because of their conservative viewpoint. This is precisely the corruption that must be avoided, and be rooted out and punished when found. It is encouraging that these conservative groups have received both compensation for the wrongs done to them as well as an apology from the IRS.
“The Trump administration, after years of litigation, has settled lawsuits with Tea Party and other conservative groups who say they were unfairly targeted by the IRS under the Obama administration.
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced early Thursday that the Justice Department had entered into settlements with Tea Party groups whose tax-exempt status was significantly delayed by the IRS dating back to 2013, “based solely on their viewpoint or ideology.”
“The settlements involve payments to the plaintiffs and an apology from the IRS.”
Here’s the statement by the IRS. Mr. Obama and Mrs. Lerner must be furious.
“‘The IRS admits that its treatment of Plaintiffs during the tax-exempt determination process, including screening their applications based on their names or policy positions, subjecting those applications to heightened scrutiny and inordinate delays, and demanding some Plaintiffs’ information that TIGTA determined was unnecessary to the agency’s determination of their tax-exempt status, was wrong,’ the IRS said in court documents. ‘For such treatment, the IRS expresses its sincere apology.'”
Apologies are nice, and settlements are even more welcome.
Yet what is distressing is that this was likely not an isolated instance of corruption by the Obama administration. The effects of mindset that conceives of and encourages such nefarious behavior were likely not quarantined within the IRS. Mr. Obama, like his compatriot Mrs. Clinton, was clearly very eager to use the powers of official Washington to deal with political opponents and to create advantages for political allies.
It is a danger that is ever present, and one that demands aggressive efforts to prevent and to punish such abuses.
Source: Fox News