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Settlement finally reached in IRS targeting scandal, but inquiring minds wonder why Lois Lerner remains unscathed

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After years of court litigation, the Trump administration has finally agreed to settle multiple lawsuits brought by Tea Party and conservative groups who were singled out for scrutiny from the Obama administration IRS. “based solely on their viewpoint or ideology.”

In a scandal that first made headlines in 2013, several groups had their tax-exempt status delayed by Lois Lerner and her Exempt Organizations unit within the IRS simply because their viewpoints didn’t line up with liberal orthodoxy.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the decision Thursday morning, one which will include over 400 plaintiff payments and even an apology letter from the IRS.

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

The agency’s apology reads as follows:

“The IRS admits that its treatment of Plaintiffs during the tax-exempt determination process, including screening their applications based on their names or policy positions, subjecting those applications to heightened scrutiny and inordinate delays, and demanding some Plaintiffs’ information that TIGTA determined was unnecessary to the agency’s determination of their tax-exempt status, was wrong. For such treatment, the IRS expresses its sincere apology.”

Attorneys for the plaintiffs called it a “great day for the First Amendment” that nevertheless was “too long in coming.”

“The Government’s generous settlement with the Class Plaintiffs fully vindicates their claims that the IRS targeted Tea Party and conservative groups based on their viewpoint,” wrote lead counsel Eddie Greim in an email to Fox News. “However, like Lois Lerner’s stated apology back in 2013, any recent so-called ‘apology’ by the IRS has little value. That is because the Service continues to suggest that its targeting was really just ‘mismanagement.’ This story was dismantled in our case. For taxpayers to be truly confident that the IRS has changed, it needs to be truthful about its past abuse of power.”

And yet, inquiring minds still want to know why Lois Lerner is walking away from this completely unscathed.

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Scott Morefield

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