(National Sentinel) Politically Motivated: The Trump administration will be paying out a “generous settlement” to Tea Party-aligned political organizations improperly targeted by officials in President Obama’s IRS, the Washington Times reported.
Hundreds of organizations were singled out by the IRS largely because they were conservative, congressional probes later discovered. The scandal was one of the Obama administration’s most high-profile and embarrassing.
Sessions said that the apology was owed for years of bad treatment, which took even longer for the agency to admit. In blaming “the last administration,” he said the targeting that took place under the Obama regime “was wrong and should never have occurred.”
One of the settlements, which were filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., contains an official admission that the IRS singled out groups because of their political ideology, which is against the law.
The second settlement, a class-action lawsuit filed in Ohio, includes a “generous” payout to more than 400 groups that were targeted.
“There is no excuse for this conduct,” Sessions said in a statement. “Hundreds of organizations were affected by these actions, and they deserve an apology from the IRS.”
As of Thursday, however, the groups said they had not yet received their apology.
“A true reckoning is finally up to the agency itself. Until the IRS itself steps forward to admit what really happened, we cannot have faith that the same abuse won’t be repeated again,” said Edward Greim, the lawyer who handled the suit for NorCal Tea Party Patriots and more than 400 other groups.
What made the targeting particularly galling other than the political aspect is that they were not granted tax-exempt status in time to conduct political activities ahead of Obama’s reelection, which was thought to be difficult.
Some parts of the case remain outstanding.
The decisions to single out the Tea Party groups were made by former IRS official Lois Lerner who, at the time, was responsible for granting tax-exempt statuses.
She was deposed over the four years it took for the case to be decided but her testimony remains sealed as part of an agreement.
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