Congressional and media attention in the IRS scandal thus far has focused mainly on the federal tax agency and its former exempt organizations director, Lois Lerner.

But Judicial Watch, the non-profit government watchdog, has obtained email correspondence between Lerner and key U.S. Department of Justice officials about criminal prosecution of conservative and Tea Party nonprofits illegally targeted for harassment.

That would be the same Justice Department run by Attorney General Eric Holder, and that employs Barbara Bosserman, one of President Obama's loyal, long-time campaign contributors.

Bosserman has a major role in the Justice Department's "investigation" of the IRS scandal that Obama told the nation found "not even a smidgen of corruption" at the IRS.

See no evil, hear no ...

The emails uncovered by Judicial Watch suggest the reason Holder's department found nothing wrong at IRS is the fact DOJ was assisting the IRS in its illegal activities.

In a May 8, 2013, email Lerner told an IRS colleague:

"I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ ... He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse's idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who "lied" on their 1024s — saying they weren't planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures."

And the FEC, too

In another email exposed by Judicial Watch, Lerner described in detail the political agenda behind the anti-Tea Party and conservative harassment:

"As I mentioned yesterday — there are several groups of folks from the FEC world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for c4s who report they are not conducting political activity when they are (or these folks think they are).

"One is my ex-boss Larry Noble (former General Counsel at the FEC), who is now president of Americans for Campaign Reform.

"This is their latest push to shut these down. One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn't feel so comfortable doing the stuff.

"So, don't be fooled about how this is being articulated – it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity."

Left's 501(c)(4)s are ok

Lerner's mention of Americans for Campaign Reform is doubly interesting because it suggests the IRS scandal was a three-cornered effort by the Obama administration effort to suppress its Tea Party and conservative critics.

Americans for Campaign Reform is a 501(c)(3) education foundation. Note that IRS rules governing c3s bar partisan political activity far more rigorously than those covering c4s.

The group has received at least 41 contributions totaling $1.7 million in recent years from such groups as the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The New York Community Trust, Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Some folks might wonder if any of those philanthropic groups knew their contributions would be used to help suppress First Amendment political speech and association rights?

On today's

Editorial: IRS should collect taxes, leave political speech alone.

Columnist/David Freddoso: Colorado abortion bill would block new safety rules for clinics.

Columnist/Jed Babbin: What will U.S. do to counter China's space offensive?

Columnist/Cal Thomas: Climate change cult has to shout louder to be heard amid public skepticism.

Columnist/Michael Barone: Obama must defend NATO's real red lines against Putin's aggression.

Beltway Confidential/Byron York: Rising GOP star Susana Martinez strikes back after insulting attack by left-wing site.

Beltway Confidential/Joel Gehrke: Obama's UN envoy compares Syrian atrocities to Rwandan genocide.

Beltway Confidential/Ashe Schow: Shocker? EPA official official leaves for job with environmental group.

PennAve/Betsy Woodruff: Reality show featuring Hill staffers in the works.

Legal Newsline/Jessica Karmasek: Leahy says patent reform bill must wait.

In other news

The New York Times: Ukraine security forces kill three pro-Russian demonstrators.

The Washington Post: Obama's promised pivot to Asia falls short.

NBC News: Putin admits Russian forces helped Crimean separatists.

CNN: Why the Navy paid $3 billion for the Zumwalt.

USA Today: Cops say heroin is a growing threat across the nation.

New York Post: Brain patient says Obamacare makes it harder to find docs, drugs.

Righty Playbook

The American Spectator: Holy Harpocrates! Why Judge Thomas' silence is a virtue.

The Weekly Standard: Republican Pete Peterson is leading California secretary of state race.

The American Thinker: Why Westernized Muslims become radicalized.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Lawless Chrysler bailout still hurting U.S. economy.

Lefty Playbook

The Progressive: Condoleezza Rice is all wrong on Ukraine.

The Daily Beast: No, you can't check a job applicant's criminal history.

Salon: I was saved by Obamacare.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: Is there a risky chemical plant near you?

Blog Right

Powerline: Is Scott Walker headed to 2016 front-runner status?

Hot Air: Bloomberg to spend $50 million to "out-muscle" the NRA.

Jammie Wearing Fools: SEIU goons in San Francisco demand $21 minimum wage.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: GOP establishment declares war on Rand Paul's 2016 plans.

Talk Left: Two new defendants added to Chicago Sinaloa case.

Firedoglake: Who would have thought?