by Jeff Reynolds · April 20, 2017
In a major victory in the ongoing Lois Lerner scandal at the IRS, non-profit election integrity organization True the Vote defeated an IRS motion to quash discovery in True the Vote v. IRS. The ruling means that everyone involved in the scandal could be compelled to submit every document related to the case and be deposed by True the Vote’s legal team.
Judge Reggie Walton of U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia just issued a critical order in True the Vote v. IRS case. The order compels the IRS to submit to discovery and depositions, giving True the Vote a long-awaited opportunity to expose the full scope of the discriminatory practices used by the Internal Revenue Service to target and abuse organizations and individuals who expressed political views in opposition to the Obama Administration.
In an exclusive interview, the lawyer representing True the Vote, Jim Bopp, Jr., cheered the ruling:
What we have now is an opportunity to find out who did what. The IRS has doggedly fought anyone finding out what happened and how it happened that they launched this comprehensive campaign to attack and undermine and adversely treat Tea Party and other conservative groups. We finally get an opportunity to find out.
Bopp says that the suit does not seek monetary damages:
What we want, of course, is an order by the court to prohibit the IRS from ever discriminating based upon political viewpoint of any organization in how they treat and deal with it. Conservative organizations were selected for adverse treatment by the Obama administration and the IRS.
We want the court to prevent that from happening, no matter if the group is conservative or liberal. They shouldn’t be targeted for their views.
The process of discovery could have stunning implications. There are mountains of documents and dozens of bureaucrats potentially involved:
We have no idea how far up the chain this goes, but we’re going to find out.
Despite the ruling, Bopp is prepared for more stalling tactics by the IRS:
The case was filed in 2013. They’ve fought hard to obstruct discovery. We don’t think their obstruction will end with this court order. We’re concerned that we’re going to face further obstruction, even though they’re ordered to do it.
True the Vote, founded during the rise of the Tea Party movement, is a conservative non-profit organization dedicated to rooting out voter fraud and securing free and fair elections across the United States. Its suit against the IRS claims its application for non-profit status was targeted for extra scrutiny due to its politically conservative cause. Lois Lerner was the head of the Exempt Organization unit for the IRS under President Obama, and stands accused of deliberately targeting conservative groups for delays and denials of applications for tax exempt status.