The Corner

The IRS’s Lawyer

The pro-Israel group Z Street sued the IRS for viewpoint discrimination in 2010, and its case is proceeding in court. I wrote last month about the Justice Department lawyer representing the IRS in the case: He happens to be a former employee of Lois Lerner, and to have been involved with the sort of targeting that Z Street alleges violated its constitutional rights.

I quoted a former Justice Department prosecutor who was troubled by the connection — he said it could violate Washington, D.C.’s rules of professional conduct for lawyers in a number of ways, including a rule that prevents lawyers from arguing cases in which they could be called as a witness. 

The Wall Street Journal reports today that the Justice Department has withdrawn the lawyer, Andrew Strelka, as the IRS’ counsel of record on the Z Street case and two others involving the agency’s alleged discrimination against right-leaning groups. The Justice Department told the Journal only that “it is not unusual for attorney assignments to change during the course of litigation.” 

The Journal editorializes: ”If Mr. Strelka had personal knowledge of the processing of tax-exempt applications for groups like Z Street while he was assigned to the IRS, he should have recused himself from handling the case at Justice.” 

Read the whole thing here

Most Popular

PC Culture

The New, New Anti-Semitism

The old anti-Semitism was mostly, but not exclusively, a tribal prejudice expressed in America up until the mid 20th century most intensely on the right. It manifested itself from the silk-stocking country club and corporation (“gentlemen’s agreement”) to the rawer regions of the Ku Klux Klan’s lunatic ... Read More