Republican Reps. Kevin Brady (Texas) and Peter Roskam (Ill.) asked the Justice Department on Wednesday to examine new evidence against Lois G. Lerner, the former senior IRS executive, to determine if charges should be brought against her for targeting Tea Party groups.
Lerner came under fire in 2013 when she planted a question at a press conference to reveal that the IRS had been targeting conservative groups that were applying for tax exemption with increased scrutiny. Lerner resigned from her position, and the Obama administration's Justice Department declared in the fall of 2015 that she had done nothing illegal.
But Brady, chairman of the Way and Means Committee, and Roskam, chairman of the tax policy subcommittee, are skeptical of how the Obama administration ran the investigation into Lerner. The GOP congressmen believe the Trump administration's Justice Department should open up an investigation as well, the Washington Times reported.
"It is clear that when the DOJ announced in October 2015 that it would not bring charges against Lois Lerner, the agency was following President Obama’s signal on how he wanted the investigation to be handled," the congressmen told the Times.
Lerner's attorney William W. Taylor disagreed, insisting she was cleared of all charges by the Obama administration because she did nothing illegal.
"Ms. Lerner did not violate any laws. There is no evidence that she did and no new investigation will change that reality," Taylor said.
The Ways and Means Committee held their own investigation, and found that Lerner did "improperly influence" the IRS to target the Tea Party by denying them their right to approval for tax-exempt status. The committee also found that Lerner mislead the inspector general about using her personal email account to conduct government business.