President Donald Trump’s administration settled two class action lawsuits filed by conservative “Tea Party” groups alleging former President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice discriminated against them due to their ideological commitments.
The DOJ reached an undisclosed monetary settlement with over 400 conservative groups that had their applications for tax exempt status delayed “based solely on their viewpoint or ideology,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday.
“The [Internal Revenue Service]’s use of these criteria as a basis for heightened scrutiny was wrong and should never have occurred,” Sessions said in a statement Thursday. “It is improper for the IRS to single out groups for different treatment based on their names or ideological positions.”
The Trump administration reached a settlement in two separate cases, one including 41 groups and another filed by 428 plaintiffs.
The targeting scandal emerged in 2013 after the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a report exposing the intentional delay of tax exempt status applications filed by conservative groups. The bombshell report sparked widespread media coverage and multiple congressional investigations.
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