(by Garth Kant, WND) -- Tea-party leaders and lawmakers are flabbergasted over the latest bombshell revelation in the IRS scandal – that ex-IRS official Lois Lerner was discussing with the Department of Justice a strategy to criminally prosecute conservative groups.
“The DOJ’s credibility to investigate the IRS scandal is gone,” declared Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. “We need an independent special prosecutor!”
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., told WND, “With each new revelation about the extent the IRS went, and wanted to go, to target conservative and tea-party groups, the level of corruption keeps getting worse.”
As WND reported Wednesday, emails obtained by Judicial Watch show that Lerner, the former head of the IRS’ tax-exempt division, was exploring a plan with Eric Holder’s Justice Department to conduct a criminal investigation into tea-party groups over their political activity.
However, on May 10, 2013, just a few short days after arranging to meet with the Justice Department, Lerner publicly admitted her department had improperly scrutinized tea-party and other conservative groups. Later that month, Lerner refused to answer questions before Congress about the improper targeting. She did the same thing almost one year later, on March 5, 2014.
For key members of the House Oversight Committee, which has been investigating the scandal for a year, the revelation about Lerner’s coordination with the DOJ appeared to confirm some of their worst suspicions.
Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the documents underscore the political nature of tea-party targeting by the IRS and the extent to which supposedly nonpartisan officials took direction from elected Democrats.
“These e-mails are part of an overwhelming body of evidence that political pressure from prominent Democrats led to the targeting of Americans for their political beliefs,” declared Issa.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said it showed why the IRS is scared to give up the rest of Lois Lerner’s emails.
He also claimed the e-mails further proved coordination among the IRS, the Federal Election Commission, the Justice Department and committee Democrats to target conservatives.
Jordan now believes, had the committee not requested an investigation by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General, then “Eric Holder’s politicized Justice Department would likely have been leveling trumped up criminal charges against tea-party groups to intimidate them from exercising their constitutional rights.”
Oversight Committee member Mark Meadows, R-N.C., echoed that concern about the Justice Department, saying the revelations “seriously call into question DOJ’s credibility.”