Jay Sekulow, chief counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, is representing 41 conservative groups that say they were illegally targeted by the IRS.
After testifying on the scandal before the House Oversight committee yesterday, he appeared on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom to talk about the latest.
During his testimony, he pointed to what he called “smoking gun” emails sent by former IRS official Lois Lerner that directly contradict the Regime’s claims that there wasn’t a “smidgen of corruption.”
The emails were released by the House Ways and Means Committee as part of its probe of the IRS scandal.
Sekulow explained that the emails show Lerner in contact with the IRS’ chief counsel and other top lawyers at least a year before the scandal became public. He said that Lerner wrote about coming up with new rules to restrict non-profit groups.
“They wanted to do it ‘off-plan,’ which means off the books so it’s not on the public calendar. And all of that was taking place while the targeting was going on,” he explained. Sekulow says the emails disprove the Obama administration’s story about the targeting originating in a remote office among lower level IRS agents.
“Legally, the IRS has been caught red-handed and the American people and certainly our plaintiffs are not taking it lying down,” said Sekulow. He believes a special prosecutor must be called on to investigate, since the head of the current probe has been found to be a big Obama campaign donor.
“When you see these emails and you understand what’s in them, you realize the highest level of the IRS was conspiring with Lois Lerner at least a year before this scandal broke. And what they’ve attempted to do now is just cover their tracks.”
“The reality is, the more information that comes out – including the information that we are now receiving with the high level IRS Chief Counsel involved with this – I think this is the smoking gun in this case, and of course the Chief Counsel is appointed by the President of the United States,” Sekulow said.
In a statement after the hearing, Sekulow said:
The Obama Administration refuses to provide Americans with the truth about the unlawful and unconstitutional targeting scheme by the IRS – a scheme that violated the First Amendment rights of numerous Tea Party and conservative groups,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, following today’s hearing. “The latest proclamation from President Obama himself – asserting that there’s ‘not even a smidgen of corruption’ at the IRS – simply fails to reflect the facts.”
It is difficult to overstate the extent and magnitude of federal government misconduct so far uncovered,” added Sekulow. “In our lawsuit, we provide specific evidence that focuses on no less than 12 IRS officials, including the IRS’s Commissioner and Chief Counsel. The facts clearly show that our clients were unlawfully singled out because of their political views – a politically-motivated attack designed to derail the emergence of a new political movement. With the Obama Administration continuing its strategy of denial and deflection, Congressional oversight is absolutely essential. That’s why the work of this – and other – committees must continue unimpeded.”
Meanwhile, Republican leaders are requesting that the newly appointed IRS commissioner scrap the new 501 (C) (4) rule that would codify into law the illegal targeting…
“This proposed rule is an affront to free speech itself,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
The letter — signed by House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and others — marks the most coordinated effort yet by the GOP to fight the rule change, first proposed in November.
The letter comes as more conservative groups testified Thursday about IRS targeting, before a House oversight subcommittee.
“They were harassed at the hands of their very government,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said.
There are currently 22,587 comments on the rule change at the Regulations.gov website – almost all of them negative.
Does the Regime really think they’re going to get away with this?
Linked by Doug Ross, thanks!