Last Updated on November 11, 2020
DOJ Elections Crime Branch Director Richard Pilger resigned Monday, in the wake of a memo issued by Attorney General Bill Barr authorizing an investigation into accusations massive fraud meant to steal the 2020 Presidential Election from President Trump and the American people.
Pilger, whose office is responsible for handling such investigations, resigned from his post almost immediately following the memo’s release, but will remain employed by the Justice Department.
“Having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications… I must regretfully resign from my role as Director of the Election Crimes Branch,” Pilger wrote in his resignation letter.
A career government employee and Obama-era appointee to the Election Crimes Branch, Pilger played a key role in that administration’s weaponization of the IRS against conservatives. Beginning in 2010, while serving within the DOJ, he used his office to collude directly with disgraced ex-IRS bureaucrat Lois Lerner as part of a plot to apply excess scrutiny to and attempt the prosecution of Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations applying for tax-exempt status with the IRS.
Pilger’s collaboration with Lerner was laid out in a 2014 report from World Net Daily which highlighted the fact that Pilger, tasked with prosecuting cases of election interference, sought to directly interfere with the 2010 mid term elections by attempting to spark headline-grabbing prosecutions of Tea Party conservatives included on the Obama Administration’s “enemies list.”
“In an e-mail dated Oct. 5, 2010, Lerner asked Pilger about his formatting preference for “the disks we spoke about.” Pilger forwarded Lerner’s e-mail to an FBI agent, writing, “This is incoming data re 501c4 issues. Does FBI have a format preference?” He then responded to Lerner, “Thanks Lois – FBI says Raw format is best because they can put it into their systems like excel.”
Furthermore, a Senate Committee on Finance report authored in 2015 documented some of Pilger’s involvement in the scheme to target conservatives, first floated by Rhode Island Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
“[Pilger] wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folks could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse [sic] 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. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs.”