Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan (R-OH) stated on Sunday that Special Counsel Jack Smith attempted to target conservative organizations during the Obama-era IRS controversy.
On Fox Business on Sunday, Jordan stated that his and Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) 2014 study investigating the IRS’s targeting of conservative tax-exempt groups had potentially problematic context for the Special Counsel probe against former President Donald Trump.
The interview comes after AG Merrick Garland appointed Jack Smith as special counsel to investigate suspected misconduct by former President Donald Trump following an FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
“Guess who was the key person at the Justice Department searching for methods to attack and punish the exact persons looking into who Lois Lerner went after? Merrick Garland just nominated Jack Smith as special counsel to investigate President Trump.”
Indeed, Smith, the then-chief of the Justice Dept.’s public integrity section, criminal division, contacted his top leadership in September 2010 about a New York Times piece targeting conservative organizations:
“Check out the piece on the top page of the New York Times on the abuse of non-profits to indirectly fund campaigns. This is outrageous to me; could we ever file a [18 U.S.C. ] 371 conspiracy to violate US laws for the abuse of such non-profits to circumvent current campaign funding regulations and limits? I know 501s are legal, but what if they are intentionally utilizing them for purposes other than those authorized (and we could prove it)? These organizations are overseen by IRS Commissioner Sarah Ingram. Let’s talk tomorrow, but perhaps we could attempt to arrange a meeting this week.”
Smith then convened discussions on a “potential 501/campaign finance probe,” according to the House Republican report.
During an October 2010 meeting, Smith, the Public Integrity section’s chief, “voiced concern that some 501(c) organizations, conservative organizations, are essentially political committees ‘posing’ as though they are not subject to FEC rules,” and therefore might face “criminal liability.”
Trump said last week that he will not cooperate with the special counsel probe.