Rep. Posey’s Statement on IRS Abuses

By  //  May 8, 2014

Posey Votes to Holder Former IRS Official Learner in Contempt

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt for refusing to answer questions about the IRS’ illegal targeting of conservative groups.

POSEY-BILL-180-34The House also approved a resolution calling on the Attorney General to appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate IRS abuses. Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) released the following statement in support of these actions:

“In March of 2012, then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman assured Congress: ‘there is no targeting of conservative groups.’ Yet, I continued to hear stories from constituents telling me otherwise. On April 23, 2012, I joined with 62 of my House colleagues in writing the IRS Commissioner inquiring further about the possible targeting. We were assured that the rules were being applied fairly and that there was no targeting or delay of processing applications from conservative groups.

“In April of 2013, top IRS official Lois Lerner revealed in a public forum that the agency had been discriminating against more than 75 groups with conservative sounding names like ‘Tea Party’ or ‘Patriot’ in the run-up to the 2012 election – the very time we were inquiring. Ms. Lerner actually went so far as to plant a question in the audience about the issue. Ms. Lerner’s admission came just days before the release of an internal Treasury Inspector General audit that documented that the IRS had been misleading Congress.

“When asked by Members of the House about the targeting, Miss Lerner has refused to answer our questions on multiple occasions, prompting the House to find her in contempt of Congress.  The rights of hundreds and perhaps thousands of ordinary Americans have been violated, and I am most concerned about making sure that justice is pursued in protecting their rights.

“Further allegations of abuse have been made by other conservative groups.  The IRS admitted that someone violated the law and leaked confidential taxpayer information on a Republican Senatorial candidate. Disclosing confidential taxpayer information is one of the worst things an IRS employee can do – it’s a felony, punishable with a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison. The Treasury Inspector General noted eight instances of unauthorized access to records, with at least one willful violation, yet Attorney General Eric Holder has failed to prosecute. Why?

“Earlier this year I led an effort with the support of over fifty of my House colleagues demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate these IRS abuses. Instead, A.G. Holder has appointed a partisan Democrat to lead the Justice Department’s internal investigation who has donated thousands of dollars to the President’s campaign and other Democrat campaigns. This is completely unacceptable.

“It’s long past time that we have a real and thorough investigation conducted by an objective investigator. Thousands of American citizens deserve to see justice pursued rather than have these abuses swept under the rug.”