- - Sunday, January 12, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Eric Holder Jr. is Barack Obama’s most faithful and obedient servant. The attorney general is ever so gently putting a not-so-hidden thumb on the scales of justice so his boss won’t worry about being implicated in a growing scandal in his administration.

The Department of Justice, as our Steve Dinan reports, has chosen a financial backer of the president to lead a criminal investigation into the Internal Revenue Service abuse of Tea Party groups.

Barbara Kay Bosserman is a trial lawyer at Justice who likes nothing better than stuffing envelopes with a contribution to Obama for America or the Obama Victory Fund. She has done this on 13 occasions, and counting.

She sent an additional $650 to the Democratic National Committee. She’s to be in charge of the “impartial inquiry” into the IRS harassment of conservatives.

This outrages the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, as it should. The committee has been trying for months to get to the bottom of what happened, only to be obstructed by repeated stonewalling from the administration.

Rep. Darrell E. Issa, the committee chairman, and Rep. Jim Jordan, a subcommittee chairman, demand that Ms. Bosserman be removed from the case at once.

“It is unbelievable that the department would choose such an individual to examine the federal government’s systematic targeting and harassment of organizations oppose to the President’s policies,” the Republican members wrote.

Messrs. Issa and Jordan are engaging in only a mild bit of hyperbole. This turn of events is in fact entirely believable. This is the most partisan Department of Justice in a generation.

For months, the administration has dismissed the revelations of abuse as a “phony scandal.” Those who suffered IRS harassment feel otherwise, and they’re rightly furious with this attempt to rig the outcome.

The American Center for Law and Justice represents 41 targeted Tea Party and conservative organizations.

“Appointing an avowed political supporter of President Obama to head up the Justice Department probe,” says Jay Sekulow, the group’s chief counsel, “is not only disturbing, but puts politics right in the middle of what is supposed to be an independent investigation to determine who is responsible for the Obama administration’s unlawful targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups.”

The administration and its media acolytes want all eyes on Chris Christie’s traffic-cone scandal. Shutting down a lane on the George Washington Bridge to create gridlock to pay back a small-town Democratic mayor was dumb, foolish and petty, and Mr. Christie was rightly humiliated because it happened in his administration.

But it pales as scandal next to using the IRS, the most feared and abusive government agency, as the instrument of payback to conservative and religious groups for opposing Barack Obama.

The media acolytes that have been consumed by the traffic scandal should allot a few lines of type to a scandal of epic proportions.

Mr. Holder and his minions refuse to acknowledge anything wrong with the selection of Ms. Bosserman, delivering the standard-issue denial that they do not take into account the “political affiliation of career employees” when making personnel decisions.

(Anyone who believes that is a likely buyer of the George Washington Bridge; con artists, take note.)

The reality is that the selection of Ms. Bosserman is a vivid conflict of interest that undermines whatever faith the American people have left in the justice system.

A Quinnipiac University poll found that 76 percent of voters — including 63 percent of Democrats — think a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate the IRS.

They were right, and it’s time this rogue agency gets a taste of its own medicine with a full, independent audit of its bad behavior.

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