Today, I, Jay Sekulow, ACLJ, am testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts about the ongoing IRS scandal.
With the latest developments revealing collusion and corruption between the Obama Administration’s IRS, DOJ, and FBI to unconstitutionally target grassroots conservatives, I’m directly demanding justice and accountability on behalf of the ACLJ’s clients and the American people.
In my submitted testimony, I explain:
Last week, in an interview, the President “explained that accusations that [the IRS was] specifically targeting conservative organizations was false and that IRS employees were simply implementing laws passed by Congress ‘poorly and stupidly.’” He further stated that the “real scandal around the IRS is that they have been so poorly funded that they cannot go after these folks who are deliberately avoiding tax payments.”
To be clear, we are not here today because the IRS does not have enough money. We are here today to get to the truth about an unprecedented, well-orchestrated scheme to unlawfully target groups because of their political beliefs.
With the ACLJ currently engaged in litigation against the IRS and many of its current and former key officials on behalf of 38 conservative groups from 22 states, I am keenly aware of the importance of this hearing and the real issue at hand. The ACLJ is also pursuing another lawsuit against the IRS based on its failure to comply with its obligations under the federal Freedom of Information Act, so we are uniquely positioned to evaluate the sweeping scope of the IRS’s wrongdoing.
Simply put, the IRS continues to deceive the public about the extent of its misconduct and maintains that deception to this day. In fact, the more we learn – the more evidence we uncover – the clearer it becomes that this scandal continues to grow and continues to threaten Americans even today. Just days ago, a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that Americans are still vulnerable to IRS audits. As the GAO put it: “Unfortunately, the IRS has not taken sufficient steps to prevent targeting Americans based on their personal beliefs.”
Even the current IRS leadership fails to take this matter seriously. No one has been fired. No one has been prosecuted. There is no accountability.
This is the fourth time I’ve testified before Congress in the past two years on this important issue. Despite numerous congressional investigations, lawsuits, and supposed investigations by the Department of Justice, the IRS still has not been held accountable and the American people are still seeking justice.
No one has been held fired. No one has been prosecuted. No one has been held accountable.
The IRS is still a political weapon being wielded against everyday Americans to suppress their constitutional rights.
The President is now blaming Republicans and stating that the IRS did nothing wrong and broke no laws.
We know the IRS is in the wrong because the IRS has apologized. But they have still not been forthright and honest about the extent of the bureaucratic corruption. And while the unconstitutional targeting continues to this day, the Obama Administration continues to engage in its favorite tactic – to dodge and delay – to try and run out the clock.
And with every new development, we continue to learn just how bad this scandal is.
The DOJ and FBI colluded with the IRS. The GAO says that IRS procedures and protocol are still susceptible to bias and corruption. Donor lists collected by the IRS were used to target conservatives for audits.
Everyday Americans continue to be targeted by the Obama Administration’s IRS because of their political speech and political viewpoints.
As I conclude:
The targeting of Americans based upon their personal beliefs or freedoms of association is repugnant to the Constitution. Americans have been outraged for quite some time, and it is time for a complete investigation. We need to know what happened. We need finality and closure. We need accountability. Those responsible for this scandal must be brought to justice.
In this case, the IRS and the DOJ have proven that they are completely compromised on this investigation.
The Constitution requires the President to faithfully execute the laws of the United States by defending the First Amendment rights of all American citizens. If my clients are going to find justice, we must have a Special Counsel.
By Jay Sekulow