Rep. Jim Jordan: 'Flat Out Wrong' Not to Bring Criminal Charges Against Lois Lerner

Susan Jones | October 26, 2015 | 5:16am EDT
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Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)

( - Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), head of the conservative Freedom Caucus and a member of the House Oversight committee, says he strongly disagrees with the Justice Department's decision not to bring criminal charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner for impeding conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

"That is just flat out wrong, in my judgment," Jordan told "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace.

"Here's a lady who systematically and for a sustained period of time targeted people for exercising their most fundamental rights, their First Amendment free speech rights.

"The president prejudged this case. Remember the facts here. The president said, 'there's no corruption here, not even a smidgen.' The chief investigator, the chief lawyer assigned to the Justice Department to evaluate this was Barbara Bosserman, a maxed-out contributor to the president's campaign.

"So it shouldn't be any surprise the Justice Department said there's nothing wrong here. But the American people know that there is."

Jordan said "unfortunately," there's not much Republicans can do about the Justice Department's failure to prosecute Lerner.

But he did note that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Oct. 28.

"I plan on asking her some serious questions and hopefully some tough questions about how they -- this investigation went, and who they actually talked to -- what happened in this investigation.

"And why they could arrive at this kind of conclusion, when I think all the facts point to someone was involved in criminal activity, and I think it was Lois Lerner."

The Justice Department sent a letter to Congress on Friday, informing Members that neither Lerner nor anyone else at the Internal Revenue Service will face criminal charges stemming from the way they delayed consideration of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

"We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution," the letter stated, according to the Associated Press.

Two years ago, an inspector-general's investigation found that IRS agents had  improperly singled out tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny before the 2010 and 2012 elections.

The disclosure set off investigations by the Justice Department and multiple congressional committees.

This is the second time the Obama Justice Department has let Lerner off the hook. This past April, DOJ attorneys said they would not prosecute her for contempt of Congress.

In May 2014, the House of Representatives voted to hold Lerner in contempt, recommending that she face criminal charges for refusing to answer the Oversight committee's questions.

House Republicans said she waived her constitutional right by making an opening statement at a May 2013 hearing, where she proclaimed her innocence.

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