One Congressman is not satisfied with the recent apology from the IRS for its targeting of certain groups based on their political beliefs.
Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) said in no uncertain terms to the IRS that its apology is not accepted and urged the Justice Department to revisit pressing criminal charges against disgraced former IRS official Lois Lerner for her role in the targeting scandal.
Buchanan is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and serves as the chairman of the panel’s Oversight subcommittee with jurisdiction over the IRS.
“Lerner betrayed the nation’s trust yet managed to avoid prosecution,” Buchanan said. “Heads should roll and people should be held accountable for this gross abuse of power.”
The Justice Department recently announced that it had decided not to press charges against Lois Lerner for her role in the targeting scandal. Buchanan cited an investigation conducted by the House Ways and Means Committee as a basis for reopening the criminal investigation in which it found Lerner to potentially be in violation of several criminal statutes including denying the targeted groups due process under the law and potentially exposing confidential taxpayer information by using her personal email to conduct official agency business.
The Justice Department also announced last week that it had reached a settlement with various conservative groups who had sued the agency for having their tax-exempt status significantly delayed based on inappropriate criteria. The IRS issued an apology and also agreed to pay a fine for its actions.
Buchanan added, “An apology five years after the fact is not good enough. The American people need to know they can be critical of their government without fear of retribution.”