IRS Chief Counsel Wilkins appears involved in targeting and coverup

The IRS targeting of conservative and tea party groups consisted mostly of delaying tactics. Groups were identified as they applied and the applications forwarded to the IRS Chief Counsel's office, where the applicants were kept in limbo indefinitely and interrogated, presumably to develop political intelligence:

National ReviewThe IRS’s chief counsel, William Wilkins, is one of two political appointees at the agency. His office demanded information about the political activity of tea-party groups “right before the [2010] election period,” and to this day has yet to make a determination whether the groups qualify for tax exemption, according to one IRS attorney.

When Willkins was called to Congress to testify, he claimed he was unable to recall anything about what happened:

American Center for Law and Justice[D]uring his transcribed interview with Committee staff, Wilkins stated “I don’t recall” 80 times in full or partial response to questions. His inability or unwillingness to recollect important aspects of the misconduct – after over five months to prepare and refresh his recollection – suggests a deliberate attempt to obfuscate his role.

The IRS Chief Counsel's office was involved in the targeting and apparently ran the cover up operation, too.

He did not resign when news broke, even though a lot of other people did:

ForbesOn November 9, 2012, Mr. Shulman stepped down, replaced by Steven Miller. On May 10, 2013, Ms. Lerner admitted targeting, calling it “absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.” Four days later, on May 14, 2013, the Inspector General issued a report confirming targeting. Attorney General Eric Holder announced an FBI investigation, and Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller resigned.

On May 22, 2013, Ms. Lerner professed her innocence, then took the Fifth. Next day, she was placed on administrative leave. On September 24, 2013, Ms. Lerner’s retirement was announced with full pension. President Obama said there is “not a smidgen of corruption” at the IRS, but the Committee on House Oversight and Reform issues a report on Lois Lerner.

Instead, he is still in office and presumably still running the cover up team redacting documents before they are provided to Congress or the public under FOIA:

It looks to me like the political appointee who was running the targeting operation... is the same person who "could not recall" anything he did... is the same person who was put in charge of providing documents to Congress and redacting those documents:

Daily CallerSenior IRS officials set up a special internal committee after congressional investigators sent information requests to the IRS’s two White House political appointees to investigate conservative and tea party non-profit applicants... Republican Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz asked. “Do you realize that there are only two political appointees in the IRS, the commissioner and the chief counsel?”

I think Lerner pled the 5th to protect Willkins, who was also in a position to protect her and anyone else at the IRS who slipped up and left documents exposed, and the link to the White House. Wilkins, it seems, was smart enough not to put anything in writing that he couldn't cover up.

This entry was published Wed Jun 10 09:19:21 CDT 2015 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2015-06-10 09:19:21.0. [Tweet]

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