The initial story from the IRS regarding alleged targeting of conservative groups has fallen apart. These actions go well beyond one or several low level employees acting on their own.
According to a report from the IRS Inspector General’s office, senior officials at the IRS knew about the targeting of conservative groups for over a year without doing anything about it.
Every new revelation makes this whole caper seem more and more politically motivated regardless of what the Obama administration says.
Yesterday we heard that at least one organization in South Carolina, the Laurens County Tea Party, was one of the many organizations having problems with the IRS. The group applied for tax-exempt status in 2010 and still has received no answer.
Yesterday we also heard that the Justice Department had begun an investigation into the actions of the IRS. This would be the same Justice Department that performed warrantless searches on the phone records of several reporters at the Associated Press.
If government officials don’t respect the laws of the United States and the provisions of the Constitution, who will?
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We now know that at least three IRS offices were involved in the targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.
The Washington Post reported today the IRS Washington, D.C. headquarters sent questionnaires to conservative groups asking about their donors and other areas of their operations while the El Monte and Laguna Miguel offices in California did the same with tea party affiliated groups.
This takes the investigation of IRS activities well beyond the initial claim that some low level functionaries in the Cincinnati office were to blame.
According to the article, an employee in the Cincinnati office told a lawyer representing one of the targeted groups that its application was “under review” in Washington.
Interestingly, it was George W. Bush appointed IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman who told a Congressional committee in spring 2012 that no targeting was occurring. Shulman resigned in November 2012.
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