One of the most basic rights is the right to not be forced to testify against oneself. It is also known as the right to remain silent. Yet the IRS requires people to answer probing questions. This is done on the theory that the IRS is not a hostile prosecutor looking for evidence to use against you at trial, but a neutral public service.
Sure it is.
It now turns out, in addition to all the other crimes of the IRS, Lois Lerner was working with the Department of Justice to get conservative groups hauled into court. Katie Pavlich writes at Townhall.com:
According to new IRS emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from Judicial Watch, former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS Lois Lerner was in contact with the Department of Justice in May 2013 about whether tax exempt groups could be criminally prosecuted for “lying” about political activity.
“I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ … He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s –saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS,” Lerner wrote in a May 8, 2013 email to former Nikole C. Flax, who was former-Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller’s chief of staff.
“I think we should do it – also need to include CI [Criminal Investigation Division], which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC. Does it make sense to consider including them in this or keep it separate?” Flax responded on May 9, 2013
What interrupted this love nest was the discovery that the IRS had been targeting conservative groups and leaving liberal groups alone. So the only “enforcement” Lerner seemed to care about was the kind that hurt the Right. “Just a few short days later on May 10, 2013, Lerner admitted and apologized for the inappropriate targeting of conservative tea party groups during an American Bar Association Conference after answering a planted question.”
We have created an agency with the power to require us to answer questions that can get away with working with the “justice system”—a system that is far from impartial in such cases.