Branco cartoon via Legal Insurrection
Mr. Obama was interviewed by Bill O’Reilly Sunday and some of the questions centered around the IRS scandal, a scandal which Obama has labeled ‘phony’ without an investigation. When the president can erase a targeting scandal of innocent Americans by covering up, lying, and mocking, it is safe to say our country is headed in a dangerous direction.
Mr. Obama appointed John Koskinen as the new IRS Commissioner and Koskinen is on the record as saying there was nothing wrong with the targeting. Koskinen said today that he would reinstate the bonuses denied IRS employees given all they have gone through with the accusations of Tea Party targeting. They are being rewarded for targeting basically.
The IRS ‘phony’ scandal involved the targeting of 292 conservative groups and 0 liberal groups. The FBI recently closed the criminal case on the IRS targeting scandal, concluding that there was no criminality.
Not one of the victims was interviewed during this ‘investigation.’
In June of last year, the FBI Director, Robert Muller, didn’t even know anything about the investigation or who was leading it despite the fact that Obama said it would be investigated.
Last June, Danny Werfel, the Acting IRS Commissioner, lied and said that Progressive groups were targeted but the Inspector General, J. Russell George, said the IRS did not use inappropriate criteria to scrutinize groups with “progressives” in their name. The word “progressives” was not used as an identifier at all.
The inspector general also stressed that 100 percent of the groups with “Tea Party,” “patriots” and “9/12” in their name were flagged for extra attention.
“While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of Tea Party and other related criteria we described in our report, including employee interviews, e-mails and other documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention,” George wrote to Levin, the top Democrat on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.
In fact, NO left-wing groups were targeted. There were 6 left-wing groups on a list but they were processed normally, George said.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigated the claim that Progressive groups were also targeted by the IRS and found 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. There are conservative groups still not approved after waiting for years.
The original story out of the White House on the IRS targeting was that it was due to the actions of a couple ‘rogue agents’ in Cincinnati. Holly Paz, who was fired, said that ‘Tea Party’ was used to filter out groups but it stood for all groups, including Progressive groups. Obviously, it was another lie. Testimony before the House by agents also debunked the Cincinnati lie repeated by the Commissioner and the head of the tax-exempt IRS office.
When abc news reporters attempted to interview agents at the Cincinnati office, they were followed around by armed guards.
IRS agents confirmed that everything comes from the top and ‘rogues agents’ are not even a possibility.
Listen to Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice who is suing on behalf of the victims:
It was our politicians who first called for conservative groups to be investigated.
Max Baucus, Chairman of the Finance Committee, was one of those leading the investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups but he was one of the Democrats who insisted they be scrutinized in the first place.
Baucus wrote a letter to then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman dated September 28, 2010 urging the IRS to investigate nonprofit conservative groups during the Tea Party-dominated 2010 midterm elections.
In February 2012, Sen. Chuck Schumer D-N.Y., together with Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Sheldon Whitehouse. D-R.I., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Tom Udall D-N.M.wrote a letter to the IRS Commissioner asking for an investigation of all these “social welfare organizations.”
“We write to inquire if the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) is investigating or intends to investigate whether groups designated as “social welfare” organizations, and thus receiving tax and other advantages under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(4), are improperly engaged in a substantial or even a predominant amount of campaign activity,” the letter read.
In January, Sen. Charles Schumer insinuated that conservatives needed to be investigated again: “It is clear that we will not pass anything legislatively as long as the House of Representatives is in Republican control, but there are many things that can be done administratively by the IRS and other government agencies — we must redouble those efforts immediately,” Schumer said.
Aside from a plan to investigate conservative groups, it is also illegal for IRS officials to discuss confidential taxpayer information.
Sarah Hall Ingram, the IRS official in charge of the ObamaCare implementation, discussed confidential taxpayer information with SENIOR White House officials during the targeting scandal. This is according to 2012 emails obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and given to The Daily Caller.
Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code forbids a federal employee from disclosing any return or return information obtained by him in any manner in connection with his service as such an officer or an employee. Violations are punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment.
Ingram visited the White House 322 times but the White House said it had nothing to do with the targeting.
Lois Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt office who oversaw the targeting, also received an email at the same time as White House officials that contained confidential information.
Lerner sent emails that were recently released by Congress which show she diverted the cases from Cincinnati while Congress was being told by the IRS that the targeting was the result of ‘rogue agents’ in Cincinnati.
Lerner directed the cases be held up in 2011 in order to come up with an agency policy. She saw how ‘dangerous’ they could be to the left and the election.
In one 2011 email, she wrote, “Tea Party Matter very dangerous,’ these applications could be the ‘vehicle to go to court’ to get more clarity on a 2010 Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance rules. [Citizens United case]
In another 2012 email, she appears to take sides against the conservatives, writing, ‘perhaps the FEC will save the day.’
In 2010, she planned it:
Lerner took the Fifth and retired with a generous salary and benefits.
The targeting got as far as a political appointee in the White House, a Mr. Wilkins, but no one is talking at that level. No one will ever make a connection to the president unless someone breaks with the White House and blows the whistle, but since there is no investigation and there is only pressure on people to remain silent, that is not going to happen.
Mr. Obama, during the February 2nd interview, said there wasn’t a ‘smidgeon of corruption’ connected to the IRS scandal. He also tried to explain away the hundreds of visits by Doug Shulmn, then IRS Commissioner.
Video clips of House testimony about the scandal can be found here, here and here. You can find chronicled events on this link. Shulman and Miller both lied under oath but apparently that isn’t criminal any longer.