Newly released documents, obtained by Judicial Watch, show how the Obama Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation discussed “several possible theories to bring criminal charges under FEC law” against tax exempt nonprofit organizations.
Via a Freedom of Information Act Request, Judicial Watch obtained several documents. Among those was a DOJ Recap with the following:
On October 8, 2010, Lois Lerner, Joe Urban, Judy Kindell, Justin Lowe, and Siri Buller met with the section chief and other attorneys from the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, and one representative from the FBI, to discuss recent attention to the political activity of exempt organizations.
The section’s attorneys expressed concern that certain section 501(c) organizations are actually political committees “posing” as if they are not subject to FEC law, and therefore may be subject to criminal liability. The attorneys mentioned several possible theories to bring criminal charges under FEC law. In response, Lois and Judy eloquently explained the following points:
- Under section 7805(b), we may only revoke or modify an organization’s exemption retroactively if it omitted or misstated a material fact or operated in a manner materially different from that originally represented. If we do not have these misrepresentations, the organization may rely on our determination that it is exempt. However, the likelihood of revocation is diminished by the fact that section 501(c)(4) -(c)(6) organizations are not required to apply for recognition of exemption.
- We discussed the hypothetical situation of a section 501(c)(4) organization that declares itself exempt as a social welfare organization, but at the end of the taxable year has in fact functioned as a political organization. Judy explained that such an organization, in order to be in compliance, would simply file Form 1120-POL and paying tax at the highest corporate rate.
Keep in mind that this was all going on as the unconstitutional IRS was targeting conservative groups for the Obama administration.
Lerner and her aide Judy Kindell told the DOJ and FBI that “although we do not believe that organizations which are subject to a civil audit subsequently receive any type of immunity from a criminal investigation, she will refer them to individuals from CI (Criminal Investigations) who can better answer that question.”
According to the memo, Lerner “explained that we are legally required to separate the civil and criminal aspects of any examination and that while we do not have EO law experts in CI, our FIU agents are experienced in coordinating with CI. The attorneys asked whether a change in the law is necessary, and whether a three-way partnership among DOJ, the FEC, and the IRS is possible to prevent prohibited activity by these organizations.”
In another document obtained by Judicial Watch, the IRS was to provide the FBI with 1.25 million pages of taxpayer information, which consisted of 113,000 C4 returns from January 1, 2007 to October 5, 2010.
According to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, “These new documents show that the Obama IRS scandal is also an Obama DOJ and FBI scandal. The FBI and Justice Department worked with Lois Lerner and the IRS to concoct some reason to put President Obama’s opponents in jail before his reelection. And this abuse resulted in the FBI’s illegally obtaining confidential taxpayer information. How can the Justice Department and FBI investigate the very scandal in which they are implicated?”
Judicial Watch also reported:
Democratic Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse held a hearing on April 9, 2013, during which, “in questioning the witnesses from the DOJ and IRS, Whitehouse asked why they have not prosecuted 501(c)(4) groups that have seemingly made false statements about their political activities…”
The House Oversight Committee followed up on these Judicial Watch disclosures with hearings and interviews of Pilger and his boss, DOJ Public Integrity Chief Jack Smith. Besides confirming the DOJ’s 2013 communications with Lerner, Pilger admitted to the committee that DOJ officials met with Lerner in October 2010. Judicial Watch obtained new documents about these meetings in December 2014 showing the Obama DOJ initiated outreach to the IRS about prosecuting tax-exempt entities.
Following Judicial Watch’s lead, the House also found out about the IRS transmittal of the confidential taxpayer information to the FBI. Because of this public disclosure, the FBI was forced to return the 1.25 million pages to the IRS.
A previous report had demonstrated that the DOJ and the IRS were targeting conservative non-profits and in April there were more emails that demonstrated the collusion of the Holder Justice Department and the IRS to actually jail opponents to Barack Obama.
Clearly, it was the intent of the Obama administration to intimidate without fully showing their hand and having to prove what they were claiming against those who opposed them. Now, the evidence is becoming clearer and more damning, but will anyone actually step away from politicking in order to bring about resolve and justice upon those involved?
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