IRS enemies list found

It looks like we have a smoking document:
Newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political groups based on the content of their literature, raising concerns specifically about "anti-Obama rhetoric," inflammatory language and "emotional" statements made by non-profits seeking tax-exempt status.

The internal 2011 documents, obtained by USA TODAY, list 162 groups by name, with comments by Internal Revenue Service lawyers in Washington raising issues about their political, lobbying and advocacy activities. In 21 cases, those activities were characterized as "propaganda."

The IRS is not supposed to be making political judgments about these things. They are supposed to develop regulations that offer some clarity and enforce them impartially. Demanding donor lists seems like an attempt to do an end run around the Citizens' United decision, not to mention an invasion of privacy for the donors and possibly an attempt to intimidate.

Also recently released were emails from Lois Lerner, containing more details on how Tea Party cases were being handled and how that handling evolved. The details, unsurprisingly at this point, contradict the narrative that low-level employees in Cincinatti were driving the suppression effort.
The first email, a February 1, 2011, message to – among others – Obama donor and fellow IRS executive Holly Paz, proclaims: “Tea Party matter very dangerous. This could be the vehicle to go to court on the issue over whether Citizen’s United overturning the ban on corporate spending applies to tax exempt rules . . . Cincy should probably NOT have these cases – Holly please see what they have please [sic].”

IRS employees say they were made "acutely" aware as far back as 2010 that President Obama wanted to go after tea party and other conservative groups, the Washington Times reports. Not wanting to disappoint, they did what they thought they were supposed to do.

This article claims that there is no smoking gun connecting the scandal to direct orders from Obama, but the Instapundit has been reminding us daily that as far back as 2009 Obama was "joking" in public about the IRS auditing his enemies.

I do agree with the main point of the article: it's long past time for a special prosecutor to investigate this matter and bring charges.

We also need to remember that the abuse did not end after the Tea Party groups were approved.

A May report by the IRS inspector general said the agency gave extra scrutiny to 298 groups when they applied for tax exempt status from the spring of 2010 to the spring of 2012. The vast majority of the groups — 248 — were conservative, while 29 were liberal and 21 were neither, according to an analysis by the Republican staff of the House Ways and Means Committee.Of the 111 conservative groups that had their applications approved, 38 were flagged for additional monitoring, according to the staff review. Of the 20 liberal groups that had their applications approved, seven were flagged for additional monitoring.

This "additional monitoring" persisted in the form of secret surveillance of groups already approved for tax exempt status until two weeks ago.

This entry was published Fri Sep 20 05:44:26 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2013-09-20 05:44:26.0. [Tweet]

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