IRS Settles with Conservative Groups, Apologizes for misdeeds

After years of expensive litigation and countless hours of angst and recrimination, the Justice Department has announced a settlement with 428 Conservative groups wrongly targeted by the IRS. According to recently released court documents the IRS admitted wrongdoing and, in an exceedingly rare gesture by that agency…apologized for its odiously shameful actions.

As reported by The Daily Caller the IRS admission represents closure in the long-running case, “The IRS admits that its treatment of the Plaintiffs during the tax-exempt determination process, including screening their applications based on their names or policy positions, subjecting those applications to heightened scrutiny and inordinate delays, and demanding some of the Plaintiff’s information that TITA determined was unnecessary to the agency’s determination of their tax-exempt status, was wrong. For such treatment, the IRS expresses its sincere apology.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the settlement over IRS wrongdoing that inappropriately targeted groups with names that included ‘Tea Party’, ‘Patriot’ or other conservative sounding words, “The IRS’s use of these criteria as a basis for heightened scrutiny was wrong and should never have occurred, it is improper for the IRS to single out groups for different treatment based on their names or ideological positions.”

Some dispute remains whether the Plaintiffs are to receive a monetary settlement, with CNN reporting, “The settlement apparently involved no monetary compensation to the groups.” Meanwhile, Fox News reports, a ‘generous’ settlement, as relayed by an obviously elated Plaintiff’s lawyer Eddie Greim, “The Government’s generous settlement with the Class Plaintiffs fully vindicates their claims that the IRS targeted Tea Party and conservative groups based on their viewpoint.”

Neither Mr. Greim nor the Justice Department had responded to our queries at the time of this writing, but Plaintiffs lawyers are rarely elated when a case is settled by a mere apology. This past September the Justice Department announced it would not pursue a prosecution against the scandal’s point person, Lois Lerner, who declined to testify and asserted her rights under the 5th Amendment, making the case likely to continue reflect poorly on the Obama Administration and the government in general. As Mr. Greim noted expressing doubt regarding the IRS claim the entire issue was merely ‘mismanagement,’ “For taxpayers to be truly confident that the IRS has changed, it needs to be truthful about its past abuse of power.”