The IRS administrators Lois Lerner and Steven Miller did not tell the truth to Congress about the IRS targeting of right-leaning groups. They knew it was going on but did not reveal that to Congress.
Miller doubled-down on the lies by claiming there was no targeting, just efficient organizing efforts on the part of some rogue employees, as if that were even possible.
They eventually decided to release the information about the targeting in an unusual venue. In their arrogance, instead of telling Congress, they decided to release the information publicly at an American Bar Association meeting that had nothing to do with the targeting.
Miller and Lerner, according to Miller in his testimony on Friday, decided they would release the information with a planted question to which Lerner would respond by apologizing for the IRS activity.
Lerner called a tax lawyer, Celia Rhoady, whose office is across from Pennsylvania Avenue, and asked her to pose the question about the IRS targeting. Lerner then used that question to apologize for the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.
Rhoady claims there was no other discussion about it before or after.
The attendees were very confused about the admission since the forum was not appropriate and the question was out-of-context.
The press publicized the information within minutes.
In a conference call with reporters, Lerner said:
“I was asked a question at the ABA meeting to give a status update of things that have been in the press” about the agency’s treatment of Tea Party groups, she said. Asked why the IRS chose to make an apology that day, she said, “Someone asked me a question today, so I answered it.”
I guess she thought she’d never be outed as a liar and a manipulator.
President Obama said he found out about the scandal from the newspapers when we all found out. However a senior White House official now says the White House Counsel’s office knew in April. The counsel, “was completing a report finding that line IRS employees had improperly scrutinized certain 501(c)(4) organizations by using words like ‘tea party’ and ‘patriot,’” the senior White House official said. White House staff also were told the report had not been finalized, and that the publication date had not been set, but would likely come soon.
Jay Carney had said they received no details about the investigation – that is now proven to be untrue.
The American Spectator is working on another interesting story. It seems that Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union (i.e. the union for IRS employees), met with President Obama on March 31, 2010 — one day before the IRS started targeting conservative groups.
The White House has warned Congress to not dare go on a fishing expedition to find out if the White House knew about the targeting before they say they did.
Senior White House adviser, Dan Pfeiffer, said on Face The Nation Sunday that President Obama will not cooperate in a “partisan fishing expedition” over who knew what when in the IRS case.
I wonder if he’ll cooperate in a bipartisan effort to get to the truth. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Democrat, and Orrin Hatch, the ranking Republican, listed a series of demands for internal documents relating to the IRS scandal and the names and position of everyone who had been either involved in or informed about it. The deadline for the hand-over is 31 May.
The White House has little concern about their image. Obama is appointing a White House insider, Dan Werfel, to run the IRS.
Meanwhile, the very important 2014 election is upon us and donations to Republicans and Tea Parties have been sent a very chilling message – donate or organize and the IRS will know. Hopefully donors will be courageous despite this revelation.