Senior IRS Officials Knew Tea Party Groups Were Being Targeted


It’s a few low level officials, like Watergate was a few low level officials.

Senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011, according to a draft of an inspector general’s report obtained by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner.

The IRS apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.

Among the other revelations, on Aug. 4, 2011, staffers in the IRS’ Rulings and Agreements office “held a meeting with chief counsel so that everyone would have the latest information on the issue.”

On Jan, 25, 2012, the criteria for flagging suspect groups was changed to, “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement,” the report says.

I suppose if your agency’s main task is unconstitutional, you might want to deal with groups that educate people about the Constitution.

In Shulman’s responses, he did not acknowledge targeting of tea party groups. At a congressional hearing March 22, 2012, Shulman was adamant in his denials.

“There’s absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back and forth that happens to people” who apply for tax-exempt status, Shulman said at the House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing.

“It’s the line people that did it without talking to managers,” Lerner told the AP on Friday. “They’re IRS workers, they’re revenue agents.”

Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s oversight subcommittee, said the report “raises serious questions as to who at IRS, Treasury and in the administration knew about this, why this practice was allowed to continue for as long as it did, and how widespread it was.”

“This timeline reveals at least two extremely unethical actions by the IRS. One, as early as 2010, they targeted groups for political purposes. Two, they willfully and knowingly lied to Congress for years despite being aware that Congress was investigating this practice,” Boustany said.

“This is an outrageous abuse of power. Going after organizations for referencing the Bill of Rights or expressing the intent to make this country a better place is repugnant,” Boustany added. “There is no excuse for this behavior.”

The excuse is that we have a regime that has nothing but contempt for the laws of the land.

  • gee59

    Out of Washington DC – Z STREET, an organization devoted to pro-Israel public education, today filed in federal court its Opposition to the government’s effort to continue violating the US Constitution by discriminating against the organization because its views on Israel and the Middle East differ from those of this government. On August 25, 2010 Z STREET filed a Complaint in federal court charging the Internal Revenue Service with constitutional violations by subjecting Z STREET’s application for tax exemption to a discriminatory process.

    In its response to Z STREET’s Complaint, the government did not deny that it engaged in this First Amendment violation. Instead, the government’s position is that (1) it can violate the Constitution whenever it wants and the only way to stop it is if the government agrees to be stopped, and (2) Z STREET should go to a different court to get something it should already have – tax exempt status – were it not for the constitutional violation the government has inflicted upon it.

  • Edward Cline

    The excuse is also that the IRS treats Americans as genuine "wage slaves," with a percentage of their wages mandated as government property.

  • onecornpone

    I always find great solace in sincere apologies from tyrannical overlords…


  • guest

    The Tea Party are radical white supremacists. They should be targeted in the same way the feds targeted the radical Occupy movement. Civil rights don't apply when you defy the state. This is a democracy after all.

    • truebearing

      And you are a radical moron. Apparently the black Tea Party members have escaped your vise-like grip on reality.
      Yes, they are real, and thoroughly refute your imbecilic assertion.

      The fact that you hate whites is the real concern, not to mention your fundamental incoherence..

      The feds targeted Occupy Wallstreet? Not enough, apparently.

    • AnOrdinaryMan

      You have no idea of WHO or WHAT "radical white supremacists" are; but your constant crying "Wolf!" about the Tea Party being such, will only cause real "radical white supremacists" to be ignored. Your comment "civil rights don't apply when you defy the state," shows that you are a Stalinist, with no understanding of America at all. Defying the state, in a civilized way, is exactly what civil rights, and the Constitution, are for.Example: Martin Luther King and his campaign for black civil rights. And America isn't a "democracy," (where majority mob rule is the order of the day), it's a Constitutional republic.

  • AdinaK

    Having co-owned a corporate tax practice I know the IRS's operations inside out. You don't operate in this arena without close contact with agents and their supervisors, especially when dealing with high net worth individuals, chiefly on the upper east and west sides of NYC where much wealth is concentrated.

    That being said, the readers should know that the IRS is capable of turning blind eyes where it matters, so when it comes to the opposite, then all bets are off. So if patriots are upset about the targeting of conservative groups, then get a load of this…they were AWOL when it really mattered –

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel

  • truebearing

    And the senior IRS officials were ordered to persecute the Tea Parties by Holder and Obama.

  • guest

    If this is what they do in the normal course of events, just think of what they will do when they are in charge of Obamacare! The IRS civil servants need to be held accountable and go to JAIL. Apologies are insufficient.

    And somebody doppleganged me above. LOL.

  • onecornpone

    STOP & THINK!!!

    The prospect of a government agency targeting groups that a significant percentage of us support is aggravating, even infuriating – however most of us assume the TEA groups in question had their ducks in a row, and weren't too adversely harmed by the overzealous govt bureaucratic hacks…

    NOW… let's transfer that very same rabid Leftist zealotry to oCare. Are we to assume that IRS bureaucratic overreach will only be applied to organizations, and NOT to individuals?

    WHAT did many of us tell you would be the result of federalizing healthcare? Will YOU really have the audacity to continue to donate to constitutionalist, conservative and liberaterian causes, knowing that when you need extraordinary healthcare, some government screener may research your entire background, including your lifetime political affiliations, before you can be approved, or declined for the desperately needed treatment?

    I tell you folks, THIS federally controlled healthcare idea is extremely dangerous to the continuance of individual liberty, freedom and rule of law. It could cost YOU or a loved one their life.