Report: IRS front office knew it was targeting tea party groups

The Daily Caller has obtained an advance copy of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee report set to be released Tuesday morning that definitively proves malicious intent by the IRS to improperly block conservative groups that an IRS adviser deemed “icky.” (That’s right. “Icky.”)

From the quotes in the Daily Caller article, the big takeaways seem to be that anti-tea-party sentiment was fairly common and unremarkable throughout the IRS (including people other than Lerner describing the groups as "icky"), that there was widespread knowledge of the targeting, and that Congress would like to know about it but that the IRS would try to avoid telling them about it.

Personally, I would be reluctant to describe this as a bombshell just based on the quotes, but it's certainly big news -- and I haven't read the actual report, so we'll see.

The Blaze also has an article about the report, which includes this tantalizing tidbit:

It said efforts to cover up the scandal were ultimately led by Obama himself. Obama initially said the IRS’s actions were inexcusable, but later said there was not a “smidgen of corruption” at the IRS.

I agree with this as a matter of conclusion, but the evidence for it is not beyond a reasonable doubt; in fact there is little direct evidence of involvement by Obama, though Treasury, DoJ, and at least some White House staff seem implicated. If the report itself does have direct evidence, that would be a bombshell indeed.

UPDATE: Politico makes that point by pointing out the lack:

Missing from the report: evidence that the White House orchestrated a plot — a connection Republicans originally sought to make but later scaled back as they failed to find a smoking gun. But they still slam IRS officials for what they call biased behavior.

It is clear that IRS officials were not only engaging in bias, but also in deliberate harassment for political purposes. There are strong indications that other agencies were also involved in suppressing some groups. But most importantly, recent activity in a Cause of Action lawsuit points to 2,500 files worth of White House involvement. The day that the IRS was scheduled to release the information, it was seized by the Treasury.

This entry was published Tue Dec 23 16:29:25 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2014-12-23 16:58:22.0. [Tweet]

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