Judicial Watch: Obama Donor/DOJ Prosecutor Spent 1529.25 Hours Investigating the IRS’ Targeting of Conservative Groups
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released a letter from the Justice Department admitting that Democratic Party/Obama campaign donor and Justice Department attorney Barbara Bosserman spent 1,529.25 hours investigating the IRS’ targeting of conservative organizations in 2010 and 2012. According to Federal Election Commission records, Bosserman contributed $6,750 to Obama campaigns and the DNC from 2004 to 2012, including 12 separate contributions to Obama for America between 2008 and 2012. The Obama Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.
The letter results from a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) appeal filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on February 16, 2016, which sought to overturn a lower court’s ruling allowing the Department of Justice to withhold these records (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 15-5271)). After over two years, the Justice Department agreed to identify the number of hours just prior to the scheduling of oral arguments during which the agency would have had to justify the withholding of the information.
In February 2014 Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, for:
All Justice Department records from the Interactive Case Management System [a web-based system for storing and accessing information about contacts, calendars, cases, documents, time tracking, and billing, etc.] detailing the number of hours DOJ Attorney Barbara Bosserman expended on the investigation of the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status in the 2010 and 2012 elections cycles.
Subsequently, Judicial Watch sued the agency for failing to respond to the FOIA request. (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:14-cv-01024)).
In what House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darryl Issa (R-CA) called “a startling conflict of interest,” Bosserman was appointed by then-Attorney General Eric Holder to oversee the FBI investigation despite her being a substantial contributor to the political campaigns of Barack Obama and to the Democratic National Committee (DNC). This lawsuit forced the Obama Justice Department to confirm the existence of a criminal investigation into the IRS’ abuses and that Bosserman, a major donor to Obama’s political campaigns and the Democratic National Committee, was part of the team of lawyers criminally investigating the issue.
In a joint letter to Holder on January 8, 2014, Issa and House Subcommittee on Economic Growth Chairman Jim Jordon (R- OH) asked that Bosserman be removed from the investigation, charging that her “conflict of interest has tainted any information she has gathered.” Holder refused to remove Bosserman, and she failed to appear at a February 6 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing titled: “The IRS Targeting Investigation: What is the Administration Doing?”
“These numbers, extracted from the Obama administration after two years of hard fought litigation, show the central role that a conflicted Obama donor played in the Justice Department investigation of the Obama IRS scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Is it any surprise that this compromised investigation found no reason to prosecute anyone in the Obama IRS scandal?”