House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said this week that “Somebody at the IRS violated the law. Whether it was Lois Lerner or not, we’ll find out.”
Lerner was head of the division that grants nonprofit status—and she has been at the center of the controversy since it became known that conservative groups’ applications were being held up and flagged for special scrutiny.
Today, the House Ways and Means Committee is reportedly working on a letter that will refer Lerner to the Justice Department for a criminal investigation. The Wall Street Journal reportsthat the letter will cite criminal activities, including “violating taxpayers’ constitutional rights,” “misleading investigators,” and “exposing private taxpayer information.”
But what does that mean? Would the Obama Justice Department take up such an investigation?
Not likely, says Heritage legal expert Hans von Spakovsky.
“The House should not expect the Holder Justice Department to do anything,” von Spakovsky told The Foundry. “It does not seem that DOJ has been conducting a serious criminal investigation of the IRS targeting or of Lois Lerner, and it seems highly unlikely that Eric Holder will do anything about such a referral.”