The U.S. House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday voted along party-lines for a criminal referrel for the Internal Revenue Service director who continues to "plead the Fifth" regarding the IRS' targeting of conservative organizations for excessive examination when they requested tax-exempt status, according to the committee's press official, Sarah Swinehart.
Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., the Ways and Means Committee chairman, said on Wednesday that the majority of the committee's members voted to send Attorney General Eric Holder a letter urging him to seriously peruse the evidence of alleged wrongdoing by Lerner that Camp and the committee discovered.
While few political analysts believe this case will be pursued by Holder or the members of news organizations, on Fox News Channel's "Special Report with Bret Baier" columnist and commentator George Will said that there were three major political scandals in recent history: the Watergate scandal under President Richard M. Nixon; Iran-Contra under President Ronald Reagan; and the IRS targeting scandal under President Barack Obama.
"This is not being perused and the president knows that," Will said. "Hence his sense of weariness and boredom as he discussed this with Bill O’Reilly."
"As has been reported several times in the mainstream news media, while Holder claims there's actually an FBI investigation into the 'IRS targeting' scandal, not one of the leaders of the dozens of groups targeted by the IRS were interviewed by Holder's or the FBI's investigators," former law enforcement officer, Nicholas Mianopoulos told the Law Enforcement Examiner on Tuesday.
According to Camp's letter to Holder, he stated that the Ways and Means Committee "uncovered three specific acts undertaken by Lerner that may have violated one or more criminal statutes."
In the letter to Eric Holder, who has been criticized by many as being the most "political" attorney general in recent memory, the lawmakers allege that Lerner used her position to improperly influence agency action against only conservative organizations, denying these groups due process and equal protection rights under the law. She showed extreme bias and prejudice towards conservative groups.
The committee members also said their letter to the Attorney General "lays out evidence on how Lerner targeted conservative organization Crossroads GPS as well as other right-leaning groups, while turning a blind eye to similarly-organized liberal groups, like Priorities USA."
Lerner allegedly provided investigators with misleading information when she was interviewed by the Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
What GOP lawmakers found disturbing was Lerner disclosing confidential taxpayer information by using her personal email account rather than her office email address.
"Lerner could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of that charge alone," noted political strategist and attorney Mike Baker.
According to the GOP lawmakers, Lerner had called conservatives “dangerous." She sent out an email to IRS employees that stated,“Tea Party Matter very dangerous ….Cincy should probably NOT have these cases.”
Upon releasing the letter to Eric Holder, Chairman Camp stated, “This investigation has uncovered serious, unprecedented actions taken by Lois Lerner that deprived conservative groups of their rights under the Constitution. Almost a year ago we learned that the IRS subjected certain groups to extra scrutiny because of their political beliefs. At the time, Lois Lerner shamefully attempted to blame the mistreatment on low-level employees in Cincinnati. The investigation to date has demonstrated that the targeting did not happen until IRS headquarters in D.C. intervened."