Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) issued the following statements in response to a letter from Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will not fulfill their request to review the Ways and Means Committee's 2014 referral for Lois Lerner, a former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Director under the Obama Administration, to be criminally prosecuted.
As Chairman Brady said:
"This is a terrible decision. It sends the message that the same legal, ethical, and Constitutional standards we all live by do not apply to Washington political appointees -- who will now have the green light to target Americans for their political beliefs and mislead investigators without ever being held accountable for their lawlessness. Not only has the Department of Justice chosen not to hold Lois Lerner criminally liable for obstructing an official investigation by the Inspector General, the Department continues to defend the Internal Revenue Service's unconstitutional actions against taxpayers in ongoing civil litigation.
"I have the utmost respect for Attorney General Sessions, but I'm troubled by his Department's lack of action to fully respond to our request and deliver accountability. Today's decision does not mean Lois Lerner is innocent. It means the justice system in Washington is deeply flawed."
Chairman Roskam added:
"The decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner is a miscarriage of justice. On top of Ms. Lerner's actions against taxpayers -- denying tax-exempt status to groups for political gain and failing to protect taxpayer information -- the Department's response blatantly ignores our most troubling finding: that Ms. Lerner intentionally misled federal investigators in a flagrant violation of the law. This is unacceptable and Ms. Lerner must be held accountable. Our democracy is injured when those who taxpayers entrust with great authority ignore the law to advance their own political agenda without repercussion."
On April 12, 2017, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling on the DOJ to review evidence that Lois Lerner broke the law by targeting Americans for their political beliefs and lying to Congress during an investigation of misconduct.
Despite clear evidence of criminal misconduct and a Committee referral to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution, the Obama Administration refused to review the information and deliver justice to the taxpayers harmed by Ms. Lerner's actions.
In the letter to Attorney General Sessions, Chairmen Brady and Roskam wrote: "Taxpayers deserve to know that the DOJ's previous evaluation was not tainted by politics We respectfully request the Department of Justice to take a fresh look at the evidence presented in the attached referral in order to restore taxpayers' trust in the IRS."