IRS Knowingly Targeted Conservative Groups – Updated

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The IRS is an agency of the Executive Branch which took on the role of an enforcement arm, something it was never empowered to do by the American people. They knowingly targeted Tea Party and conservative religious groups because they did not like their viewpoint and they did it as a result of political and media pressure.

This is what tyranny looks like.

Darrel Issa in an interview on Wednesday said that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigated the claim that Progressive groups were also targeted by the IRS. What they uncovered is in a new report. A memo summarizing the report has been released.

What the committee found was that 80% of the cases that were set aside by the IRS were conservative groups. Progressive groups were identified but were moved along or, in some cases, denied for legitimate reasons and all were handled in a timely manner. Progressive groups were not targeted.  Many conservative groups have still not been approved.

Conservative groups are coming forward and many are suing.

A memo sent by the House committee said that a Washington Post article after the Citizens United case inspired the IRS targeting. The IRS felt empowered to become an enforcement agent for political opponents.

“The IRS first identified and elevated the Tea Party applications due to media attention surrounding the Tea Party…Media attention caused the IRS to treat conservative-oriented tax-exempt applications differently,” according to a September 17 House Oversight memo entitled “Interim update on the Committee’s investigation of the Internal Revenue Service’s inappropriate treatment of tax-exempt applications.”

The memo also states that politicians urged the IRS to take action:

“As prominent politicians publicly urged the IRS to take action on tax-exempt groups engaged in legal campaign intervention activities, the IRS treated tea party applications differently,” the staff report concludes. “Applications filed by tea party groups were identified and grouped due to media attention surrounding the existence of the tea party in general.”

From September 2010 through August 2012, Democratic Senators including Max Baucus, Carl Levin, Charles Schumer and Al Franken, as well as Rep. Peter Welch sent letters to the IRS urging them to target Tea Party groups.

In one of the letters, they wrote: ‘We write to urge the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate whether any groups qualifying as social welfare organizations under section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code are improperly engaged in political campaign activity,” wrote Vermont Democrat Welch to IRS Chief Dennis Shulman in March 2012.”

Seven senators, including Schumer and Franken, complained to Shulman in March 2012 that “lack of clarity in the IRS rules” is to blame, threatening “legislation” to enact bright-line rules.

We urge the IRS to take steps immediately to prevent abuse of the tax code by political groups.”

The IRS is behaving “passively,” complained Levin to Shulman in July 2012, adding: “How long after a complaint to the IRS does a compliance review begin?” and “What approximate time does it take to review the complaint?”

 

Video of interview with Darrell Issa on Fox News:

 

Documents have been given to Congress by the Inspector General that prove the top officials of the IRS – Schulman, Lerner, Miller et al – were given a heads up when the Inspector General was beginning his investigation in May 2012. They knew all about the ‘phony’ targeting scandal.

In early June, there was an email exchange between an employee in the Inspector General’s office to IG Russell George which revealed that Treasury Secretary Geithner was going to be in the meeting the next Monday to be briefed about the targeting.

Congress believes Tim Geithner was briefed! That brings this to Barack Obama’s door.

These same top officials at the IRS have been lying. They said they knew nothing about the targeting but they knew for certain in May and June 2012, five months before the election. They not only targeted, they lied to Congress.

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