We’d need to hire someone, and pay more for hosting, to keep up with all the latest developments of the ongoing IRS Scandal:
The Conservative Hispanic Society is expressing outrage that the Internal Revenue Service targeted them. In a press release going out today, the Conservative Hispanic Society says that though it applied for 501(c)(4) status in 2010, its application still has not been approved.
CHS Executive Director Chris Salcedo did not mince words in his reaction to the news: “It seems the Obama political machine has infiltrated every aspect of our government. Politics now dictates our response to terrorist attacks. And now the IRS is being used as a weapon to punish people our president has referred to as his ‘enemies’.”
In the days since the Internal Revenue Service first disclosed that it had targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, new information has emerged from both the Treasury inspector general’s report and congressional testimony Friday that calls into question key statements made by Lois G. Lerner, the IRS’s director of the exempt organizations division.
The clumsy way the IRS disclosed the issue, as well as Lerner’s press briefing by phone, were seen at the time as a public relations disaster. But even so, it is worth reviewing three key statements made by Lerner and comparing them to the facts that have since emerged.
A story in the Washington Post yesterday about the Internal Revenue Service’s Cincinnati office, which does most of the agency’s nonprofit auditing, clearly contradicted earlier reports that the agency’s targeting of Tea Party groups was the result of rogue agents.
The Post story anonymously quoted a staffer in Cincinnati as saying they only operate on directives from headquarters:
“We’re not political,’’ said one determinations staffer in khakis as he left work late Tuesday afternoon. “We people on the local level are doing what we are supposed to do. . . . That’s why there are so many people here who are flustered. Everything comes from the top. We don’t have any authority to make those decisions without someone signing off on them. There has to be a directive.”
ABC News visited the IRS Determinations office in Cincinnati, OH, the office that determines eligibility for 501(c)(3) and (4) groups. It has become a security state.
News reports from the time indicate the now-chief counsel of the IRS, William Wilkins, helped a church connected to President Barack Obama’s friend Rev. Jeremiah Wright get out of an IRS probe in 2008 while working as a private attorney.
“Lawyers from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr have won the dismissal of an IRS case against United Church of Christ, Sen. Barack Obama’s denomination,” The American Lawyer’s Zach Lowe wrote on May 22, 2008.
(CNSNews.com) – The head of the National Treasury Employee Union (NTEU), which represents employees of the Internal Revenue Service, met with President Barack Obama in the White House one day before the manager of the IRS’s “Technical Unit” suggested establishing a “Sensitive Case Report” for the tax-exempt status applications of Tea Party groups, according to data from the official White House visitor log and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
The White House visitor log shows that NTEU President Colleen Kelley met with Obama–“POTUS,” President of the United States–on March 31, 2010.
The White House claimed today that it had no prior knowledge that a senior IRS official was going to admit and apologize for a juicy scandal with a planted question at a May 10 American Bar Association event.
Press secretary Jay Carney also claimed that President Obama had complete ignorance of the investigation as it was unfolding because senior staffers at the White House chose not to tell him.
“There were conversations. After White House counsel was notified, and told senior staff members, there were conversations between staff here and Treasury about when — you know, what was the timing going to be; what would the — would the findings likely be in anticipation of that. But there was no fore-knowledge of when this — when this happened,” Carney said.
“Kathy Ruemmler, the White House counsel, was made aware the week of April 22nd. I’ve now gotten the specific date of April 24th. It does turn out, and we looked at this, that there was a part of this notification process of a series of I.G. — pending I.G. matters that was conveyed to — communicated to someone on the staff of the White House counsel’s office, but that information did not reach Kathy Ruemmler until the following week.”
It was pointed out to Carney that in a briefing last week about he never mentioned that the chief of staff and others were notified.
“Well, I — I think I said that White House counsel knew. I think I said that I didn’t know until Friday, but I didn’t — you know, I’m getting this information to you now. The point is counsel knew on April 24, White House counsel did. And she informed some other senior staff. And with that — in that — in informing, she also made clear that it was her view and others shared this view that there was not a need in a situation like this, with an ongoing investigation or audit, that the president should be notified,” he said.