Meet the Deep State. It’s embedded inside a massive remorseless bureaucracy with no conscience or restraint.
Ex-Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner tried to audit Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley after Grassley blocked President Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Justice (DOJ) tax division, an executive branch insider told The Daily Caller.
Grassley made it more difficult for the IRS and DOJ to work together to target conservative groups by blocking Obama’s political appointee Mary L. Smith from taking over the DOJ Tax Division, which prosecutes criminal cases for the IRS. Grassley held up the nomination in early 2010, just as Lerner and fellow IRS officials were mapping out their targeting strategy. The White House later withdrew Smith’s nomination.
The source confirmed to The Daily Caller that the White House and IRS officials “were very upset at Senator Grassley and Republicans for blocking a vote on Mary Smith’s nomination.”
The IRS relies on the DOJ Tax Division to prosecute both criminal and civil cases, and has entire legal teams devoted to making DOJ referrals. Placing a political appointee as assistant attorney general for the DOJ Tax Division was a top priority for the Obama White House.
Grassley made sure that no Obama political nominee got confirmed for the post, and kept in a “career,” or non-political, DOJ tax head for another two years.
“The Assistant Attorney General is not the kind of position that you probably would want someone learning on the job,” Grassley said at a Feb. 4, 2010 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, pointing out Smith’s lack of tax experience.
And to prove his point, Lois Lerner decided to go after him. Because the best response to anyone who stops the IRS from engaging in political targeting is… more political targeting.