7/7/16 IRS Scandal


Three years ago, it was learned the IRS had been used as a weapon against perceived political enemies [here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here].

Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.

The Treasury Inspector General blew the whistle that some IRS officials orchestrated a campaign targeting predominately conservative and Jewish non-profit organizations.  It began during the run-up to the 2012 election.  It’s widely believed, the White House considers conservative and Jewish groups to be political enemies.

Legal proceedings have been slow.  Nearly all progress has been made in court where hundreds of organizations joined a lawsuit.  In fact, this is the only real progress.

Both the FBI and the Justice Department closed their investigations claiming they didn’t find anything.  However, somebody at the IRS illegally leaked confidential taxpayer information.

DOJ’s claim of no wrong-doing wasn’t exactly a surprise. While it claimed to be investigating the IRS, DOJ lawyers were simultaneously defending the agency in the lawsuit.

A unanimous panel of federal appeals court judges scolded DOJ lawyers representing the IRS for not following the law.

In response to a judge’s order, the IRS released a list of organizations it acknowledged targeting.  There were more than 400.  Dozens had “tea,” ”patriot,” or “liberty” in their names.  A very small number appeared to be liberal in nature. But court proceedings show these groups were added after the IRS was sued.

With the FBI and DOJ having ended their investigations, the only hope at holding the guilty accountable rests with the court.

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