Another Tumbleweed Moment

“From the motif in westerns where the wind blows tumbleweeds through the scene, usually to establish that the place is desolate or empty…a period of dead air or stony, unresponsive silence,” explains Wikipedia about a ‘tumbleweed moment.’

Documents have surfaced from October 2010 about a meeting between Lois Lerner, the Department of Justice and the FBI on how to develop the prosecution of targeted nonprofit organizations. Judicial Watch confirms the IRS gave the FBI 21 computer disks containing 1.25 million pages of information from more than 113,000 tax returns.

Lerner, a former IRS official, was at the center of past allegations that the agency had targeted conservative groups applying for 501(c)(4) nonprofit status. More than 6,000 Lerner emails thought to be lost were turned over to the Senate Finance Committee in April.

“One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing the stuff,” Lerner said in a 2013 email.

The goal was to stop the flow of other conservative non-profits, opposed to President Obama’s agenda, from applying for tax exempt status and therefore becoming more effective. Congress launched a probe into the IRS in 2013 after the inspector general released a report saying officials had subjected conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status to additional scrutiny.

When Congress voted to find her in contempt and referred her to the DOJ for prosecution, the DOJ, refused to prosecute. We now know why.

As reported by Judicial Watch, the document from IRS Exempt Organizations Tax Law Specialist Siri Buller to Lerner referenced a meeting with the DOJ’s Criminal Division and the FBI about the “possible criminal prosecution of nonprofit organizations.”

Another document shows there were ideas from “Lois” on how the IRS could revoke or change “an organization’s exemption retroactively if it omitted or misstated a material fact or operated in a manner different from that originally presented.”

“We discussed the hypothetical situation of a section 501(c)(4) organization that declares itself exempt as a social welfare organization, but at the end of the taxable year has in fact functioned as a political organization,” the memo reveals.

Other documents states: “Lois stated that although we do not believe that organizations which are subject to a civil audit subsequently receive any type of immunity from a criminal investigation, she will refer them to individuals from CI who can better answer that question. She explained that we are legally required to separate the civil and criminal aspects of any examination and that while we do not have EO law experts in CI, our FIU agents are experienced in coordinating with CI.”

The documents also show how the Obama’s IRS developed plans to get a hold of documents forbidden under federal tax law. One email goes as far as showing there was a request asking that copies of employee statements to Congress be provided to the DOJ first: “If any of your clients have documents they are providing to Congress that you can (or would like to) provide to us before their testimony, we would be pleased to receive them.”

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