Issa Report Slams Dem Collaboration with the IRS

darrell-issa-furious-after-democrat-releases-irs-transcript-that-blows-up-his-investigationA bombshell report released by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) completely refutes Democratic Party talking points that the IRS scandal involved unwarranted targeting of both liberal and conservative groups. “Time and again, (Democrats) have claimed that the IRS targeted liberal- and progressive-oriented groups as well—and that, therefore, there was no political animus to the IRS’s actions” the report states. “These Democratic claims are flat-out wrong and have no basis in any thorough examination of the fact. Yet the Administration’s chief defenders continue to make these assertions in a concerted effort to deflate and distract from the truth about the IRS’s targeting of tax-exempt applicants.”

The report reveals far more about the early stages of Tea Party targeting conducted by the tax collection agency, identifying the initial three cases sent to Washington, D.C. for additional scrutiny in 2010. Two of the three abandoned their applications rather than face additional IRS questioning. The third group is still waiting for its case to be resolved.

Several other key findings of the report are equally troubling. Perhaps the most troubling of all was that the IRS itself  “selectively prioritized and produced” documents for the Committee to support the narrative that their targeting had been bipartisan. It noted that on June 24, 2013, Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel asserted during a press conference that the agency misconduct was “broader” that conservative applicants, even as he refused to discuss the criteria that led him to that conclusion. Nonetheless, the IRS subsequently produced “hundreds of pages of self-selected documents that supported his assertion,” even as they had only provided the Committee with less than 2000 total pages of IRS material. “Congressional Democrats had no qualms in putting these self-selected documents to use,” the report states.

Those Democrats included Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) , and Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA), all of whom made “misleading statements that the IRS targeted liberal groups based on the selectively produced documents.” 

Furthermore, the IRS “was not an unwilling participant” in promoting this charade. When it came time to produce these selective documents, they “suddenly reversed” their previous interpretation of a law that had prevented them from releasing confidential taxpayer information to the American public. The reinterpretation allowed the IRS to release info on three leftist groups, ACORN, Successors and Emerge.

Yet IRS agents who testified before the Committee noted that these groups were scrutinized because the IRS believed they were old organizations attempting to apply as new ones. The report itself notes that unlike the Tea Party, such groups were not subjected to a “case sensitive report” or reviewed by the IRS’s Chief Council. And while IRS documents showed that some liberal groups were being scrutinized, “only Tea Party applicants received systematic scrutiny because of their political beliefs,” and “public and nonpublic analyses of IRS data show that the IRS routinely approved liberal applications while holding and scrutinizing conservative applications.”  

The report further states that the IRS’s efforts to make their subsequent scrutiny more neutral amounted to little more than “cosmetic changes,” while the focus on conservative organizations continued. “Only seven applications in the IRS backlog contained the word ‘progressive,’ all of which were then approved by the IRS, while Tea Party groups received unprecedented review and experienced years-long delays,” it states. 

This reality aligns with testimony given by IRS officials Elizabeth Hofacre and her successor, Ron Bell. Both explicitly stated that only Tea Party groups had been targeted through the summer of 2011. They were equally explicit in rejecting the notion that progressive groups were held to anything remotely resembling the same standard. Hofacre revealed that she was on the project until October of 2011 and was “only instructed to work “Tea Party/‘Patriot’/9/12 organizations.” Bell echoed that assertion, further noting that he inherited 50-100 cases from Hofacre, all of which were Tea Party cases.

Even when the BOLO (be on the lookout for) criteria were changed by Lois Lerner, and term the “Tea Party” became “advocacy organizations,” the IRS “still intended to identify and single out Tea Party applications for scrutiny.” In further testimony, Bell noted that the change amounted to nothing significant as non-Tea Party cases were either moved to closure or further development, while Tea Party cases remained on hold—for an entire year–pending guidance from Washington. 

What about offsetting testimony? “Unlike Tea Party cases, the Oversight Committee’s review has received no testimony from IRS employees that any progressive groups were scrutinized because of their organization’s expressed political beliefs,” the report states.

One of the more devastating takedowns of Democratic contentions concerns Lerner’s initial revelation about the IRS’s nefarious efforts. The report resorts to pure logic, noting that when Lerner “publicly apologized for the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party applicants, she offered no such apology for its targeting of any liberal groups. When asked if the IRS had treated liberal groups inappropriately, Lerner responded: ‘I don’t have any information on that.’ This admission severely undercuts Democratic ex post allegations of bipartisan targeting.”

A series of emails between IRS officials are included in the report, with one especially damning one penned by Lois Lerner. “Tea Party matter very dangerous,” it states. “this could be the vehicle to go to court on the issue of whether Citizen’s United overturning the ban on corporate spending applies to tax exempt rules.” In addition to the obvious bias directed towards the Tea Party, this email suggests that Lerner was sympathetic, if not outright supportive, of the Americans left’s determination to undermine the Supreme Court’s decision disallowing government restrictions on political advocacy spending by corporations, associations and unions.

Lerner made her position clearer during a speech at Duke University in October of 2010, when she insisted that Citizens United “dealt a huge blow, overturning a 100-year-old precedent that basically corporations couldn’t give directly to political campaigns.” Lerner went on to reveal the pressure under which the IRS was operating as a result. “The FEC can’t do anything about it. They want the IRS to fix the problem,” she said. “Everybody is screaming at us right now: ‘Fix it now before the election. Can’t you see how much these people are spending?’”

Who “they” are remains a mystery. Lerner has appeared before the Committee on two occasions. Both times she asserted her Fifth Amendment right, protecting her from self-incrimination. 

What happens next remains to be seen. Last Thursday, the House Oversight Committee indicated they would be holding a vote this week on whether to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress. During a June hearing, a party-line vote by the Committee panel determined that Lerner had waived her Fifth Amendment rights when she made an opening statement during her first appearance last May. When she reiterated that right during her second appearance, she left herself vulnerable to a charge of obstruction. The process moves to the House, where John Boehner (R-OH) has indicated he will allow a vote on the contempt of Congress charge. If Lerner is found guilty, the matter is directed to a grand jury, where she could receive a prison sentence between a month and a year or a fine between $100 and $1,000.

The report makes it clear why Lerner’s testimony is critical. “The committee will never be able to fully understand the IRS’s actions,” it states. “Lerner has unique, firsthand knowledge of how and why” the IRS targeted conservative organizations for unwarranted scrutiny.

In the meantime, the political fault lines have been clearly illuminated. “For months, the Administration and congressional Democrats have attempted to downplay the IRS’s misconduct,” the report states in final paragraph of its executive summary. “First, the Administration sought to minimize the fallout by preemptively acknowledging the misconduct in response to a planted question at an obscure Friday morning tax-law conference. When that strategy failed, the Administration shifted to blaming ‘rogue agents’ and ‘line-level’ employees for the targeting. When those assertions proved false, congressional Democrats baselessly attacked the character and integrity of the inspector general. Their attempt to allege bipartisan targeting is just another effort to distract from the fact that the Obama IRS systematically targeted and delayed conservative tax-exempt applicants.”

The Prescott Arizona Tea Party is the poster child for those delays. Despite being one of the first three groups targeted, they have yet to be notified about the status of their application—more than 51 months later. “I don’t see much equality under the law there,” said spokesman Rick Harbaugh. That’s because there is none.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

Subscribe to Frontpage’s TV show, The Glazov Gang, and LIKE it on Facebook.

  • panola60

    The Barack H. Obama Foundation

    Lois Lerner, the senior IRS official at the center of the decision to target Obama’s political opponents for burdensome tax scrutiny, signed paperwork granting tax-exempt status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a shady charity headed by the president’s half-brother that operated illegally for years.

    According to the organization’s filings, Lerner approved the foundation’s tax status within a month of filing, an unprecedented timeline that stands in stark contrast to conservative organizations that have been waiting for more than three years, in some cases, for approval. The IRS was even nice enough to make the non-profit status retroactive so as to not make liars and lawbreakers out of the Barack H. Obama Foundation which had been operating illegally for 2 years.

    It is also not clear what the Barack H. Obama Foundation actually does. Its website claims the organization has built a madrassa and was building a imam’s house but there is no other evidence that the nonprofit was actually helping poor Kenyan children – but it lies about its federal status and no one knows how it spends its money.

    “The Obama Foundation raised money on its web page by falsely claiming to be a tax deductible for 2 years. This bogus charity run by Malik had not even applied and yet subsequently got retroactive tax-deductible status,” Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center described Malik Obama’s attempt to raise money as constituting “common law fraud and potentially even federal mail fraud.”

  • The Facts

    In 2001, an American Jewish terrorist group plotted to assassinate Darrell Issa with pipe bombs. The mastermind was sent to jail and killed himself. He was an underling of Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose ideology is supported by Joyce Chernick who funds Frontpagemag.

    • bob smith

      and in 1492 Columbus sailed the Ocean blue…he must be the leading casue of global warming…duh

    • Gee

      Name said organization – you are a liar. There have never been any American Jewish terrorist groups period.

      • The Facts

        Jewish Defense League, a Kahanist terrorist group. Sympathizer.

        • Gee

          Since they NEVER committed a single act of terrorism – that makes you a moron as well as a liar.

          • The Facts

            They got caught in the act.

          • Gee

            Liar – they were not.

          • The Facts

            Irv Rubin, dude. Facts are facts. Plot foiled.

      • bob smith

        to attempt reason with a liar and a fool is a terrible waste of resources. facts are inconsequential to that moron. the focus of the article is the worrisome precedent that the mudslime in chief has created. when the next president resides in the White House, all bets are off.

        nsa, cia, irs, fbi, dhs, all wonderful tools newly reformed to suppress a nation and welcome totalitarianism.

        the facts just doesn’t get it. not now, not ever. It is a glaring example of dhimmitude.

    • sundance69

      You are a complete fool.

    • elisheva14

      Here is a link: http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/meet-the-chernicks.html
      I know nothing of her views and what difference would it make. Horowitz makes his views known and he is not the same as Rabbi Meir Kahane who was assassinated in 1990. The Chernicks sound like generous people who support Israel. We need more people like these. Kahane’s views were radical and his political party was outlawed in Israel. If you don’t like Frontpage why come here?

      • The Facts

        Interesting question. I am attracted to the warmongering dysfunctionality here. It stimulates my artistic fight response. It is the unrecognized epicenter of a fanatical but subdued racial and religious fanaticism that was part of the implosion of American radical culture and continues to implode, trying to suck more material into the maelstrom. I enjoy this place because it is a black hole, and I power off singularities.

        • kikorikid

          You power off flatulence.

        • Boogie’s Daddy

          Please take your meds!

  • Gee

    There is at least one Jewish organization that was targeted in late 2008 – early 2009 that is STILL being reviewed. How many decades does it take?

  • Gislef

    “A bombshell report released by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA)”

    You know, it’s not really a bombshell if you fire duds.

    When is Boehner going to _do_ something about the violations he finds?

    • bob smith

      he is just as complicit and should be fired for his dhimminess. just wait until he releases his next fatwa that all citizens are “created equal”.

      Illegal, mudslime or otherwise.

  • http://www.clarespark.com/ Clare Spark

    Voter fraud should be our major target now. Unite and vote for your party’s candidates. I wrote about standing up to bullies here: http://clarespark.com/2014/04/06/standing-up-to-bullying-social-democrats-2/. “Standing up to bullying social democrats (2).” Discover the Networks had a fine piece on voter fraud yesterday. Proof.

  • Chiron_Venizelos

    OK, Mr. Issa, you’ve conducted the “probe” (I can only imagine the expression on Lerner’s and Wertel’s faces). You’ve had the hearings, You’ve conducted the investigation, Now, you have the report.
    It is a damning report indeed, but so what!
    Tell us please the names of the IRS and complicit Democrat operatives (e.g. Cummings and Levin), who will be stripped of their pensions, fired or removed from office, put on trial, and then go to jail?
    Until we see this, we shall know that all you’ve done is put on an elaborate dog-and-pony show at taxpayer’s expense and that justice shall never be served on the criminals infesting Washington DC.

    • NAHALKIDES

      I’m no Boehner fan, but remember, the real roadblock here is he DOJ. While the House can vote to cite Lerner for criminal contempt, they cannot summarily punish her. A grand jury has to be convened, but even if it returns an indictment, Eric Holder will never allow the true bill to be signed, thus Lerner won’t come to trial until we have a decent (i.e. Republican) DOJ again. House Republicans can pursue two avenues: they can try to whip up public support for an Independent Counsel, or they can find Lerner in civil contempt and try to get a civil judge to send her to jail for her refusal to testify.

      • Chiron_Venizelos

        I can discern that you are a “reasonable” individual, and that is commendable. I also agree with your list of options as they pertain to Eric “With” Holder’s refusal to prosecute a Democrat or one of their useful idiots. This is why we have Independent Counsels and “Special Prosecutors” and hope they’re more adept than was the last SP, namely Ken Starr.
        Regardless of what happens from this point, ALL fair-minded folk who believe our laws must be carried out to the letter and without fear or favor, must NEVER allow the crimes of the 0bama regime go unprosecuted. It is OUR responsibility to remember the crimes committed against us and, if necessary, wait until people who are willing to uphold the laws of our nation come to power. If that doesn’t happen soon, our country will collapse and slide into the sewer of third-worldism.
        When those who swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States breach their oath, there then exists a de facto state of anarchy. When anarchy becomes pernicious, society invariably collapses. When a society or economy collapses, there begins an absence of power, and when there is an absence of power, dictatorial and tryannical powers replace what existed before. It’s all domino theory.

  • http://shugartpoliticalaction.shugartmedia.com/uncommonsense/ Chris Shugart

    I have to admit that Lerner did get one thing right. The Tea Party IS dangerous. That is if you happen to be part of the corrupt DC establishment.

    • searcher0

      and how is a belief in a return to the Constitution as the basis of our government dangerous?

      • JamesJ

        Read Shugart’s post again.

        • searcher0

          ahhh.

  • 11bravo

    With out a GOP controlled senate NOTHING will happen. I would just let them all know they will be followed out of office to be prosecuted, or when Obama is out! Which-ever comes first.

  • NoOne

    So what, another bombshell that proves the Dems lie and are a conspiratorial organization dedicated to the overthrow of the US Constitution. We will all sit on our butts typing meaningless BS to one another while the progressives are out in the streets winning their war.

    But there is good news. I hear they’re gonna start a 24 hour “Dancing With Honey Boo Boo and Where is Malaysia Airlines 370″ channel. There is no doubt it will be a big hit here in America that is, once Spring Break and NCAA playoffs are over.

  • Michael Harlow

    This stuff better get fixed otherwise this country is finished. This stuff is the stuff of 3d world dictators. This is law breaking by people who are supposed to uphold the law. Or is it simply the Politburo? The Communists have taken over our democracy and the democrat party.

  • Harry_the_Horrible

    So, when the arrest warrants start going out?

  • USARetired

    There needs to be a ‘Domino effect’ of heads rolling, and NOW!

  • Ray – Jesus is the Son of God.

    The signs of the end times are everywhere..

    As we witness such things as the spread of globalism, the building of a one-world church, the increase of wickedness, the breakdown of the traditional family, the destruction of that priceless bastion of liberty called America, the normalization of homosexuality, the callous murder of babies, the filthy pop culture, the breathtaking increase in governmental surveillance, we become fearful, uncertain, frustrated, angry, and discouraged, but this is because our minds and hearts are too focused on things of this world rather than things above. Too often we have the same short view that “conservative” unbelievers have rather than the long view that comes from the light of Bible prophecy.

    The devil is the god of this world, and his handiwork is evident everywhere, but he is not God and he is not in control of the times and the seasons.

    “Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding” (Dan. 2:20-21)…

    We should stand in the confidence that the present evil is exceedingly temporary and will soon be cut down.

    Please visit my Bible prophecy website at: itshallcometopass.org

    • nomoretraitors

      For a more thorough examination of “end times,” read “The Final Act” by Dr. Steve Kinnard, available at ipibooksdotcom

  • VLParker

    Wow. A year in jail and a $1000 fine. What draconian punishment. What a pathetic joke.

    • Bryan

      A year in jail OR a thousand dollar fine. And those are the max penalties. She could walk away with a hundred dollar fine like she had a small speeding ticket.

  • http://geoffreybritain.wordpress.com/ Geoffrey_Britain

    Congressional democrats have betrayed their oath of office and their Constitutional obligations in favor of the left’s ideology. They are Americans in name only and are actively engaged in sedition and treason.

  • greatj

    Lois Lerner never did this by herself. When Obama and the Democrat lost the house in 2010 they went after all of Obama’s political enemies. Question the Obama reelection committee 2012 people like Axelrod, Cutter, Jarrett, Burton and the rest. They were absolutely involved in this scandal. Look how all of the Democrat party is against this shows how guilty they are. LOIS LERNER NEVER DID THIS BY HERSELF.

  • American1969

    Throw Lerner’s butt in jail until she cooperates (let her rot, if necessary). She’s committing obstruction, and she’s obviously trying to weasel her way out of talking, period. None of us would get a free pass like that!
    The never-ending scandals and corruption associated with this administration is just disgusting.

  • Henry Hawk

    So when does the body count begin? The IRS is the DemoRat/progressive Gestapo and they are begging for a war

    • aejbhq5

      Any way to freeze this woman’s pension? That would get her attention.

  • Ellman48

    “These Democratic claims are flat-out
    wrong and have no basis in any thorough examination of the fact. Yet the
    Administration’s chief defenders continue to make these assertions in a
    concerted effort to deflate and distract from the truth about the IRS’s
    targeting of tax-exempt applicants.”

    And Benghazi was a protest over an anti-Muslim video which, for some unknown reason, became violent. One wonders why the the killers brought military assault weapons to the ‘protest’.

    It is MENDACITY, not TRANSPARENCY, which is the hallmark of the Ob ama regime. Any wonder that Obama and the Congress are at historic disapproval levels? We have regressed to the days Jimmy Carter was President: demoralized and ashamed of our country, hopeless and depressed about our future.

  • Steve Bryant

    (Who “they” are remains a mystery)…………. Really?