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IRS official’s underlings have history of investigating prayers

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,IRS,Religion

IRS employees working under Lois Lerner allegedly asked a pro-life group about the “content of the members of your organization’s prayers” while considering their application for tax-exempt status — a charge that is less surprising in light of Lerner’s work as the chief enforcement officer at the Federal Elections Commission.

Fox News reported on the FEC’s lawsuit against the Christian Coalition:

Under her direction, the FEC undertook the largest enforcement action in its history — suing the Christian Coalition for violating campaign laws. The Christian Coalition won, but in one deposition, FEC lawyers asked a defendant if televangelist Pat Robertson prayed for him.

James Bopp, the Christian Coalition’s lawyer, said he was “shocked and appalled” by that.

“Both political activity and religious activity are specifically protected by the First Amendment,” he said.

When Bopp learned years later that Lerner had been promoted to an IRS position, he became concerned.

“She was in effect being promoted for what she had done at the Federal Election Commission and now was going to be expected … to replicate that at the IRS and now we know that’s exactly what happened,” he said.

National Review reports today that Lerner has been placed on administrative leave, citing a source in the IRS’s Cincinnati office. You can see Fox’s video of the story above.

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