Former President Obama appointed 32 people to senior positions without first seeking Senate confirmation. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that some of those appointments were unconstitutional – an unlawful abuse of a president’s recess appointments powers. Still, the Obama administration was never held accountable for these unconstitutional recess appointments or the IRS’ targeting of politically conservative groups.
The Obama Justice Department and IRS stonewalled the investigation, refusing to answer legitimate questions. Though Louis Lerner denied any wrongdoing, she invoked the Fifth Amendment at a Congressional hearing. Two months after pleading the Fifth, Lerner admitted, during an American Bar Association (ABA) meeting, that conservative groups were targeted because of their titles and beliefs.
Approximately one year later, with the investigation ongoing, Obama was asked by Bill O’Reilly whether the IRS engaged in any corruption.
“Not even a smidgen of corruption,” Obama told O’Reilly.
In 2017, the Justice Department agreed to settle the matter, paying $3.5M to the Tea Party and other conservative groups that were wronged. In a statement regarding the settlement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “The First Amendment prohibits the federal government from treating groups differently based solely on their viewpoint or ideology.”