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IRS head uses the “P” word — and thereby eviscerates the claim this is not a political scandal

IRS head uses the “P” word — and thereby eviscerates the claim this is not a political scandal

Also, Treasury and Senior IRS officials behind the planted question and answer

I did not get to watch the Senate IRS hearings today, but it looks like a little more truth leaked out of IRS head Steven Miller, who admitted the targeting was partisan.  Maybe a few more days on the stand, and we get the whole truth.

And that whole truth is that what happened was a partisan attack on behalf of a sitting president against his political opponents.  It was not just a mistake, or mismanagement, or any of the other lame excuses being cast about to distract from the partisan nature.

Via HuffPo, IRS Commissioner Contradicts Earlier Testimony, Says Tea Party-Targeting Was Partisan

The head of the Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday, in his second day of sworn testimony before congressional committees, admitted under questioning that the agency’s targeting of tea party groups was a partisan act.

“It absolutely was,” said Steven Miller, acting commissioner of the IRS, when asked by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) if the agency acted in a partisan manner.

Miller had said in his opening statement to the Senate Finance Committee that the targeting was “not an act of partisanship.” The question of whether the IRS personnel who targeted tea party groups acted in a partisan way has implications for whether they broke laws such as the Hatch Act, which forbids government employees from engaging in partisan political activity….

BURR: Mr. Miller, let me just ask you. Has this practice stopped?

MILLER: What practice, sir?

BURR: The practice of how they process the consideration of these applications — keywords “conservative,” “tea party,” “patriot”?

MILLER: I believe that that did happen. The names stopped when — last in — when Lois Lerner first learned of it. The second listing, by the way, if you take a look at that, in the Treasury inspector general’s report, is still problematic because it talks about policy positions, but it actually is not particularly partisan in how it talks about policy positions.

BURR: So it was partisan — it was partisan before, though.

MILLER: Yes, it absolutely was.

In another interesting development demonstrating why a special prosecutor with the power to take testimony under oath is needed, the Inspector General admitted that his Report was not the result of taking testimony under oath:

J. Russell George, the inspector general, repeated that his audit turned up no evidence that anyone in the White House or in senior IRS management directed the improper screenings. He said the examination was not an investigation, and employees were not under oath, and said his agency would be following up.

And senior IRS officials and officials in the Treasury Department were behind the planted question (background here) which revealed the targeting for the first time:

Nearby at a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew acknowledged Tuesday that there was contact between his agency and the IRS on the planned plant.

“There were some conversations at a staff level between Treasury and IRS. You know, there are — it is — was the discretion of the IRS to decide how to manage this matter,” Lew said in answer to questions from Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho.

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Comments

2nd Ammendment Mother | May 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Lew…. Lew…. now what was Lew doing until recently? uhmmm Chief of Staff at the White House?… Seems like that’s what he was doing until just a few weeks ago?

Drudge headline says:

TOP IRS OFFICIAL TO TAKE THE FIFTH, I think.

Coulda’ said ‘Someone beat him with a fifth. If by chance a volunteer is needed, umm, I am from Tennessee..

It’s Lois Lerner. The woman who’s in charge of Obamacare now.
She plans to take the Fifth.

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-top-irs-official-fifth-amendment-20130521,0,6645565.story

    Helen in reply to JohnC. | May 21, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Just to be accurate, Lois Lerner is not the woman who will be overseeing Obamacare…that is Sarah Hall Ingram. Lois Lerner has been in charge of the tax exempt dept. and is the one who had a friend ask the planted question re: targeting at the American Bar Assn. meeting to get this whole thing kicked off. Crazy!

He didn’t mean “partisan”. He mean “bec de corbin”.

(Anyone who gets this is a massive geek.)

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Crawford. | May 21, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    God help me, I’m officially a massive geek. But I didn’t play the damn game, just knew someone who did! Honest! The 5th! I pleads the 5th!

Public executions by drawing and quartering are too good for these folks but I’d pay good money to watch….tarring and feathering is still an option, though.

I think the person who needs to be questioned, under oath, is that Kelly woman who runs IRS and Treasury workers union. She has control of raises and promotions of union members – or in other words the livelyhood if anyone working at the IRS along with the well-being of their families.
She met with Obama 1 day before the targeting began. A year later she met with Obama again and her union was given even more power and authority within the IRS.

She has truly managed to slink away, we could call her Natasha as in too important to be questioned.

[…] we are to believe that the same man knew nothing about the IRS personally attacking those who dared to speak out against the Administration?  That the Chief Executive of the United States has no knowledge or control of what happens in one […]

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