After years of being stonewalled by the Obama administration, the hundreds of Tea Party groups that were targeted by the Internal Revenue Service in 2013 for political purposes finally received justice Wednesday when U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett approved a multimillion-dollar settlement, Business and Politics Review reported.
“This settlement forces the agency to finally pay penance by forking over $3.5 million total to the hundreds of conservative non-profit that were unfairly targeted for intense scrutiny after applying for tax-exempt status.
“‘It shows that when a government agency desires to target citizens based on their viewpoints, a price will be paid,’ Edward Greim, the attorney who led the class-action suit against the IRS, said to The Washington Times.
“It was not until October of 2017, nine months after President Donald Trump took office, that the federal government finally agreed to settle the Tea Party groups’ complaint.”
Wednesday’s ruling marks the first time the IRS has ever agreed to pay for its transgressions: “I’m not frankly aware of any other class action lawsuit against the IRS for anything where the IRS paid money,” Citizens for Self Governance president Mark Meckler, who funded the lawsuit, said.
When asked whether the IRS might ever target non-profits over political purposes again, he said, “I’m a hundred percent certain it could happen again.”
As the commissioner of the IRS, Obama-era IRS commissioner John Koskinen also made no attempts to bring former IRS official Lois Lerner to justice for the pivotal role she played in the agency’s targeting of conservative organizations.
Instead, he seemed to stonewall, always trotting out one excuse or another — such as his claim that Lerner’s emails had gone missing — only to later be shown to be a liar.
Twitter users were furious with the IRS:
That’s it? $3.5m fine? A drop in the bucket when taxpayer $$ is paying the fine. No personal loss to the players. Lois Lerner et al should be prosecuted. There has to be punitive damages here. But, again, this would lead to Obama and his inept admin.
— Lou A (@twodets) August 11, 2018
Makes no difference to the IRS. Money should not come from the taxpayers but from those (Lois Lerner and others) who were partners in this illegal activity.
— frederick c. norton (@miintel_c) August 11, 2018