WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), today told a House Subcommittee that the IRS deceived the public about the extent of its wrongdoing and maintains that deception to this day. The ACLJ, which represents 41 organizations in a federal lawsuit challenging the IRS, appeared today before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs – a hearing designed to get to the bottom of a targeting scheme aimed at conservatives.
"The Obama Administration refuses to provide Americans with the truth about the unlawful and unconstitutional targeting scheme by the IRS – a scheme that violated the First Amendment rights of numerous Tea Party and conservative groups," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, following today's hearing. "The latest proclamation from President Obama himself – asserting that there's 'not even a smidgen of corruption' at the IRS – simply fails to reflect the facts."
"It is difficult to overstate the extent and magnitude of federal government misconduct so far uncovered," added Sekulow. "In our lawsuit, we provide specific evidence that focuses on no less than 12 IRS officials, including the IRS's Commissioner and Chief Counsel. The facts clearly show that our clients were unlawfully singled out because of their political views – a politically-motivated attack designed to derail the emergence of a new political movement. With the Obama Administration continuing its strategy of denial and deflection, Congressional oversight is absolutely essential. That's why the work of this – and other – committees must continue unimpeded."
In its federal lawsuit, the ACLJ represents 41 organizations in 22 states. Of the 41 groups, 24 organizations received tax-exempt status after lengthy delays, 11 are still pending, 5 withdrew applications because of frustration with the IRS process, and 1 had their file closed by the IRS after refusing to answer the unconstitutional requests for more information.
Today's hearing comes just weeks after it was reported that the Justice Department attorney who heads up the investigation into the IRS targeting scheme is a top political donor and supporter of President Obama, which the ACLJ contends creates a serious conflict of interest. The Subcommittee invited Barbara Bosserman to testify at today's hearing. She declined and the Justice Department refused to send anyone to testify.
In detailed written testimony submitted to the Subcommittee, posted here, ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow noted that the Bosserman appointment is one of many concerns about how the Obama Administration is handling this scandal:
"According to published reports, it has delayed turning over tens of thousands of relevant documents to Congressional investigators, it is currently in the process of attempting to dismiss litigation filed against it by groups it admitted it harmed, and its criminal investigation – announced with much fanfare in May, 2013 – is led by a large donor to President Obama's two presidential campaigns, a person so close to the President that she was invited to the White House to attend a bill-signing ceremony."
"Millions of Americans with good reason perceive the IRS as inherently partisan, doubt the Obama Administration's good faith in faithfully executing the laws of the United States by defending the First Amendment rights of all American citizens, and are understandably cynical when an avowed partisan accepts the assignment to investigate perhaps our nation's most politically-significant scandal."
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SOURCE American Center for Law and Justice