Oct 26, 2017 - Politics & Policy

Tea Party groups to get "substantial" payout over IRS scandal, lawyer says

Attorney General Jeff Sessions takes his seat ahead of speaking at the Heritage Foundation. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

The Trump administration will be apologizing to Tea Party groups that underwent extra IRS scrutiny when applying for tax-exempt status during the 2012 election, and the settlement will include a "very substantial" payout, according to a lawyer representing more than 400 groups in the class-action suit. The Department of Justice did not make reference to a payout.

Why it matters: The payout would go to the "conservative, anti-establishment movement that is something of a forerunner to Donald Trump's populist, America-first presidential campaign" and it "would close a chapter in a political scandal that dogged the Obama administration and remains a source of outrage for Republicans," AP's Sadie Gurman writes.

The background: The IRS admitted targeting groups with words such as "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their names, and some of the delays they experienced lasted years. The DOJ under Obama announced in 2015 no one at the IRS would be prosecuted, following an investigation. Jeff Sessions said during a speech Thursday that these cases against the IRS "never would have been necessary if government had acted properly."

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