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Investigating the IRS partie deux

Investigating the IRS part two

By Paul Gable

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.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said he contacted the IRS three times last year about the targeting of conservative groups. Hatch said the answer to his first letter, from IRS acting Commissioner Steve Miller, said the groups were not being targeted.

This looks like a classic case that the cover-up is going to turn out being worse than the crime.

President Barack Obama said he first heard of the IRS targeting of these groups in press reports last Friday. He said if the targeting did indeed happen it was outrageous and the culprits have to be held accountable. Obama vowed to find out exactly what happened.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, promised the IRS will now be the ones under additional scrutiny (through Congressional investigations).

It now appears that this targeting was known about by top officials in the IRS early on. It’s difficult to believe that the targeting of the conservative groups was not politically motivated.

Who provided the initial motivation is the question that must be answered.

One Comment

  1. Well, if they are on the up and up, they have nothing to worry about….

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