One could imagine quite easily the reaction of Democrat Party and the media if the IRS, under the Bush administration, had targeted liberal groups seeking tax exempt information, claimed subpoenaed emails were accidentally lost and sought to have a sitting United States Senator audited because of an invitation mistakenly sent to an IRS employee.
The outrage level would reach highs that would be measured by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Have we forgotten the freakout over 9 US attorneys that were fired? Despite the fact the President has the authority to fire US attorneys at will, Democrats still wanted to impeach Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
That does not even begin to rise to the level of what we have seen with the IRS and what they have done. Here’s a recap:
- Unfairly scrutinized groups seeking tax exempt status but singling out conservative groups or tea party related organizations and asking them to names of donors, contributors or grantors and if those had run for office or were going to run for office. They asked for the amounts of all donations, the dates they were received and details about how they were going to use them. None of his happened to liberal groups despite the myth being told that they had.
- Illegally leaked confidential tax information about a group opposed to gay marriage.
- The IRS has claimed subpoenaed emails have been “lost” and that the hard drives they were stored on have “crashed.”
- Lois Lerner sought to have Senator Charles Grassley audited because of a mix up in some invitations sent to her instead of him (they were both invited to speak at the same event).
- Lois Lerner refuses to testify before any Congressional committee. That is certainly her right but there are questions that need answers.
The Justice Department and specifically, Eric Holder, cannot be trusted to have an impartial investigation. There is a strong likelihood criminal laws were broken including obstruction of justice and almost a certainty that civil rights were violated.
This situation demands a full criminal investigation and Eric Holder does not have the credibility to do it. The situation demands an independent investigation and if Eric Holder is going to refuse, then Senator Cruz is right when he says Congress should utilize the power it has, and impeach Attorney General Holder.
The sad thing is, this should not be a partisan exercise. This is about one of the most powerful agencies in the federal government abusing its power and exacting political retribution on American citizens, simply because some in the IRS do not agree with them.
The President, while not being directly involved, has some culpability here. It was he who declared these organizations “shadowy groups” that “threaten to destroy our democracy.”
Every other scandal out there now amounts to what appears to be government incompetence being covered up to protect certain people. That goes for Benghazi, Fast & Furious and the VA scandal.
This one is different.
This is one that goes directly to one of the most protected freedoms we have. The freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly and the freedom to petition our government.
The IRS sought for political reasons, to quash those freedoms. Then they tried to cover it up. Now they’re just trying to run out the clock. The President thinks this is a “phony scandal.” Holder will follow his lead.
As such, Senator Ted Cruz is 100% right to demand an independent investigation and to call for Eric Holder’s impeachment if he does not comply.