Settlement of IRS Tea Party Targeting Approved by Federal Judge

Tea party groups and conservative organizations won a monetary settlement against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The IRS was sued over the agency’s effort to delay conservative organizations from obtaining approval of tax-exempt status during the Obama Administration.

This week, a federal judge approved the settlement.

The Washington Times reports:

A federal judge Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a $3.5 million settlement of a lawsuit against the IRS over alleged targeting of tea party groups and other conservative organizations.

U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett set a July 10 hearing in Cincinnati on making the settlement final, and scheduled deadlines for claims and objections.

Former IRS official Lois Lerner oversaw the agency’s Exempt Organizations Unit.

In 2013, Lerner admitted the agency aggressively scrutinized conservative groups and blamed “low level” employees in the Cincinatti IRS office.

Investigations moved forward, including Lerner for her role in slow-walking conservative organization’s tax-exempt status, however, her case was closed.

While there were calls to reopen Lerner’s case, President Trump’s Justice Department has not done so.

Some Republicans were disappointed when Trump’s Justice Department wouldn’t reopen the case against Lois Lerner, who had led the IRS office that processes applications for tax-exempt status.

She and much of the agency’s leadership resigned or retired over the scandal. The IRS has said it made changes to how tax-exempt status applications are handled.

Last fall, the Department of Justice reached a monetary settlement with hundreds of conservative groups denied tax-exempt status.

The Daily Caller reports:

The DOJ reached an undisclosed monetary settlement with over 400 conservative groups that had their applications for tax exempt status delayed “based solely on their viewpoint or ideology,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday.

“The [Internal Revenue Service]’s use of these criteria as a basis for heightened scrutiny was wrong and should never have occurred,” Sessions said in a statement Thursday. “It is improper for the IRS to single out groups for different treatment based on their names or ideological positions.”

The Trump administration reached a settlement in two separate cases, one including 41 groups and another filed by 428 plaintiffs.