No one from True The Vote, the highest profile organization targeted by the IRS in the scandal involving improper scrutiny of conservative-leaning non-profits, has been interviewed by the FBI or investigators from the Department of Justice, according to the group’s President, Catherine Engelbrecht.
This stunning revelation comes just days after Attorney General Eric Holder rebuffed the suggestion that an independent investigation is needed into the growing scandal. Holder told ABC News this weekend that a special investigation was unnecessary because “career people” and FBI agents were “doing a good, professional job” investigating the matter.
When I raised Holder’s assertion to Engelbrecht Monday morning during an interview on WMAL radio in Washington, DC, I asked her what her involvement and experience has been with the FBI and the DOJ, considering Holder’s claim that they were doing a “good and professional job” investigating the IRS scandal.
“That would be exactly ‘no.’ Zero. at no time have they approached us. Only when they are investigating us. Only when they are being adversarial towards us do we ever hear anything from the Department of Justice. There has been no outreach to try and get to the bottom of the scandal at any time. “
There is no doubt that for any serious and thorough investigation into the inappropriate and potentially illegal tactics used by the IRS in refusing to grant conservative groups a 501(c)4 non-profit status because of their perceived political leanings, Engelbrecht’s group would be one of the first to be interviewed.
True The Vote has been embroiled in much of the testimony and investigation in the House Oversight Committee, including an episode where Lois Lerner fed tax information to that committee’s ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings’ office. In April, Townhall’s Katie Pavlich reported on the e-mail exchange:
New IRS emails released by the House Oversight Committee show staff working for Democratic Ranking Member Elijah Cummings communicated with the IRS multiple times between 2012 and 2013 about voter fraud prevention group True the Vote. True the Vote was targeted by the IRS after applying for tax exempt status more than two years ago. Further, information shows the IRS and Cummings’ staff asked for nearly identical information from True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht about her organization, indicating coordination and improper sharing of confidential taxpayer information.
Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, along with five Subcommittee Chairmen are demanding Cummings provide an explanation for the staff inquiries to the IRS about True the Vote and for his denial that his staff ever contacted the IRS about the group.
“Although you have previously denied that your staff made inquiries to the IRS about conservative organization True the Vote that may have led to additional agency scrutiny, communication records between your staff and IRS officials – which you did not disclose to Majority Members or staff – indicates otherwise,” the letter to Cummings states. “As the Committee is scheduled to consider a resolution holding Ms. Lerner, a participant in responding to your communications that you failed to disclose, in contempt of Congress, you have an obligation to fully explain your staff’s undisclosed contacts with the IRS.
The revelation from Engelbrecht that her organization has not been interviewed or contacted by the DOJ at all in the 15 months since the IRS scandal first broke calls into question just how seriously Attorney General Holder is taking the investigation and will surely add to the growing number of voices calling for an independent investigation into the scandal that now includes missing e-mails, broken hard drives and a central figure pleading the 5th amendment.