The Justice Department settled two lawsuits with conservative groups that claimed the Internal Revenue Service had unfairly scrutinized them during applications for tax-exempt status, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Thursday.
The government agreed to a multimillion-dollar settlement to resolve one lawsuit, which was brought on behalf of 428 groups, said Edward Greim, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs. The government will not pay damages to the 41 groups in the second lawsuit, but the I.R.S. acknowledged its conduct was wrong.
The settlements were the conclusion of two legal battles that have dogged the I.R.S. since the initial lawsuits were filed after a 2013 treasury inspector general’s audit that found groups with “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names received more scrutiny over their applications for tax-exempt status. The revelations plunged the I.R.S. into a firestorm that ultimately led to the ouster of its acting commissioner and prompted accusations that the agency was being used as a political weapon by the Obama administration.
Source: The New York Times