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IRS Exempt Organizations Director disciplined for contempt

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Rep. Darrell Issa (R-San DIego) did not tolerate the former IRS Tax-Exempt Organizations Director's silence during the House Oversight Committee's hearings on the IRS investigator's intended ends in investigating conservative non-profit organizations who applied for tax-exempt status. The House, on Wednesday night the 7th, voted to find Lois G. Lerner, in contempt of COngress.

“Lois Lerner presided over an effort to deprive Americans of their rights to participate in our political process and failed to meet her legal obligations to answer questions," Issa said Thursday. " E-mails and other documents obtained by the Committee have shown that IRS targeting of conservative groups occurred after she felt pressured to act following robust criticism by President Obama and other prominent members of his party about the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in the Citizens Unitedcase."

The IRS investigator's refusal to testify before Issa's committee, despite a congressional subpoena, convinced Issa to give the director a final notice. San DIego representative Duncan Hunter joined Issa, and the majority congressmembers, in voting for the standing order of contempt against the Obama administration's tax official.

Local Democrats, Susan Davis, Scott Peters and Juan Vargass, voted no on the contempt finding, not alling out of line with the party leadership as the Democrats in the bipartisan vote did.

Hunter also agreed with the Oversight Committee Chairman on calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS's targeting of the TEa Party, Patriots, and other conservative non-profit organizations. The Department of Justice's failure to enforce the congressional subpoena counteracted the oversight committee's work on safeguarding political organizations that collect business contributions during campaigns against undue, and burdensome, investigations. Issa has not been overwhelmed by the President's decision to set aside the claims against his IRS director, and, said, Obama "undermined" his investigation.

Obama, in agreement with congressional Democrats, in 2010, in his State of the Union Address, responded to the upward political trend in corporate campaign spending by calling the U.S. Supreme COurt's Citizens United decision foolish. ‘‘With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests—including foreign corporations—to spend without limit in our elections."

Issa, having not resolved the concerns over the IRS investigation in work with government officials in Washington, DC, took the political disagreement, and the charge against a federal official, public, and won in his house of Congress. A special counsel will take over the dormant Justice Department investigation.

No one has yet been held fully accountable.

This is an On The Watch Take.



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