IRS officials knew about political targeting long before they revealed it

Judicial WatchIt was not until much later that MARKS saw information that [Redacted] was only looking for Tea Party cases…. The BOLO [Be on the Lookout] showed that at various points the criteria called for “Tea Party” name, and then later the ideology…. She told him [Miller, on May 3, 2012] that Cincinnati was categorizing cases based on name and ideology, not just activity. When MARKS told MILLER this, he threw his pencil across the room and said, “Oh shit.”

To my mind this establishes a couple of interesting points. First, it demonstrates that some officials in the IRS knew the targeting was going on much earlier than they admitted to it, and knew it was wrong, and yet allowed it to continue. Whether relatively low-level employees would initiate and continue such a program in the absence of management directives to do so seems unlikely. Second, it suggests to me that any non-tea-party names added to the BOLO lists after the activity was discovered were added as part of the cover-up, to disguise the political nature of the initial BOLO lists. Third, it destroys any attempt by the media or the political actors to minimize the situation. As Miller put it, this was an "oh shit" moment for any honest IRS management who found out about it.

It also doesn't exonerate any of the management involved. Some people may be able to point to these documents to demonstrate their surprise and dismay when they learned of what was going on, but the collective response appears to have been a coverup rather than a frank admission of problems and application of punishment. And despite the massive destruction of evidence involved in hiding Lerner's email trail from the public, we still have a number of juicy tidbits that suggest she was the organizing force behind the targeting all along, and actively sought to keep it secret. There are more quotes in the document linking the targeting efforts to Holly Paz.

And as a bonus, it appears that IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman likely misled Congress; he has been informed about the development letters sent to tea party groups before that point.

This entry was published Fri Jul 29 11:49:17 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2016-07-29 11:49:17.0. [Tweet]

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