Report: Top Dem Lawmaker Sought Charges Against Conservatives Targeted By IRS

Chris White | Energy Reporter

Recovered emails show that one of the Democratic lawmakers crusading against global warming skeptics sought criminal charges against Tea Party groups targeted by the IRS in 2013.

Judicial Watch, a Washington-based watchdog group, released 72 emails Wednesday indicating that Democratic Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse pushed the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to prosecute Tea Party groups that made false statements to the agency in the past.

Whitehouse wanted to know why the Justice Department was acting so deferential toward the IRS in determining a punishment against conservatives, according to internal emails.

“Sen. Whitehouse is curious why, for example, if a 501(c) tax organization files were leaked, and they clearly showed that make false statements,” one of the internal emails reads, then “why the Department of Justice wouldn’t prosecute the case by itself and not wait for the IRS.”

IRS officials orchestrated a scheme starting in 2010 and continuing through 2012 that dumped conservative and Tea Party non-profit applicants into a bureaucratic “black hole,” according to FBI documents obtained in August.

The documents also described how the agency scandalously targeted the conservative non-profit groups, culminating in an investigation that eventually led to the retirement of IRS officials Lois Lerner.

The watchdog group obtained the documents through a federal court order in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.

The six-year-old scandal is still affecting conservatives presently, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a press statement attached to the published emails.

“The Obama IRS scandal includes abuse of power by Democrats in Congress who wanted to jail Obama’s political opponents to help secure Obama’s reelection,” Fitton said.  “And Americans should know that the courts have recently concluded the Obama IRS abuses haven’t stopped – even as we approach another presidential election.”

The newly released emails show that Whitehouse’s staff sent over examples of organizations the senator thought should be prosecuted following a meeting in 2013 with the Justice Department.

Rhode Island Democrat targeted conservative organizations such as American Future Fund, Crossroads GPS, Americans for Responsible Leadership, Freedom Path, America is Not Stupid, Inc., RightChange.com II, and A Better America Now.

Whitehouse, who is no stranger to politically charged investigations, has argued the Justice Department should launch a racketeering case against fossil fuel companies casting doubt on the liberal global warming position.

The former Rhode Island attorney general and Democratic California Rep. Ted Lieu  introduced resolutions in both chambers of Congress in July that “urges fossil fuel companies and allied organizations to cooperate with active or future investigations into their climate-change related activities.”

Whitehouse also directed 19 of his fellow Democratic senators in July to attack conservative and libertarian organizations such as Americans for Prosperity and the Cato Institute on the chamber floors for engaging in what the senators call a “web of denial.”

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