Who in Washington ordered special scrutiny of Tea Party groups, pro-Life groups, pro-Israel groups and donors to Freedom Watch, an organization which supported the Iraq troop surge?Or this?
Lois Lerner, director of the Exempt Organizations Division in Washington, was placed on administrative leave (with full pay) after she invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination rather than answer questions from the House Oversight Committee. But it's doubtful the buck stops with her. [Emphases added.]
The Internal Revenue Service demanded of some conservative groups (but not liberal groups) applying for tax-exempt status the names and addresses of their members and donors, and their contacts with journalists and legislators.And how about our friends on Scaife's braintrust? Remember when they wrote this?
"Please detail the content of the members of your organizations' prayers," the IRS asked a pro-life group in Iowa.
Tax collectors have no right to demand such information from Americans. We must find out who is responsible for targeting critics of the Obama administration, and hold them accountable.[Emphases added.]
This is government thuggery at among its worst — siccing the tax man on those with political views opposite of those in charge of the executive branch and in the middle of a presidential election year. [Emphasis added.]Or this?
Not only did the Internal Revenue Service target conservative groups for harassing and illegal scrutiny of their tax-exempt status, it appears to have lied about how far up the food chain knowledge of this thuggish practice went. [Emphasis added.]And when Ruth Ann Dailey wrote this?
The cacophony has grown louder and wilder in recent days due to a quick succession of executive branch debacles: the cynical cover-up of the Benghazi assault; the IRS oppression of conservative and independent nonprofits...[Emphasis added.]Or this?
The bolder and more troubling intrusion is the Internal Revenue Service's clearly ideological targeting of conservative and libertarian groups. Bureaucrats grilled nonprofit applicants on matters of conscience up to and including the specific content and wording of their prayers. [Emphasis added.]Remember all this? It was only in the last coupla months.
Now take a look at this from the New York Times:
The instructions that Internal Revenue Service officials used to look for applicants seeking tax-exempt status with “Tea Party” and “Patriots” in their titles also included groups whose names included the words “Progressive” and “Occupy,” according to I.R.S. documents released Monday.The Times has an example:
The documents appeared to back up contentions by I.R.S. officials and some Democrats that the agency did not intend to single out conservative groups for special scrutiny. Instead, the documents say, officials were trying to use “key word” shortcuts to find overtly political organizations — both liberal and conservative — that were after tax favors by saying they were social welfare organizations.
“Common thread is the word ‘progressive,’ ” a lookout list instructs. “Activities appear to lean toward a new political party. Activities are partisan and appear as anti-Republican.”Now that it looks like Obama Administration (or at least the IRS) was not (repeat: NOT) targeting conservative groups with their offensive and intrusive inquiries - they were targeting groups across the political spectrum - will we see a clarification from Jack Kelly? The Braintrust? Ruth Ann Dailey?
And what would these clarifications look like? And how long will it take?
There are reputations at stake here.