IRS jobs apparently trump free speech.
Cleta Mitchell is a conservative activist who has been very vocal about the IRS scandal which involved the targeting of conservative Tea Party groups in the run-up to the 2012 election.
She recently appeared on C-Span and an alleged IRS employee called into the show and explained to her that he would target these groups because they want to abolish the IRS.
Ali Meyer reported at the Washington Free Beacon:
IRS Employee Admits He Would Go After, Target, and Try to End Conservative Groups
A self-identified IRS employee admitted he would go after, target and try to end conservative groups who wanted to abolish the IRS, to Cleta Mitchell, an attorney representing those groups, on a Washington Journal segment on C-SPAN.
Mitchell, a political law attorney who has represented conservative groups during the IRS targeting scandal since 2010, was a guest on C-SPAN to discuss the possible impeachment of the IRS commissioner John Koskinen.
The first caller was a self-identified IRS employee who said he would go after the groups Mitchell represents if their goal was to abolish the IRS.
“I am a lowly clerk at the IRS, looking at your application for tax-free status,” said the caller, Bill, from Elizabeth, New Jersey. “I go to your web page to see the goals of your group and one of the goals of your group is to abolish the IRS.”
“You can bet every dollar you got I’m going to go after you and target you and try and end your group and that’s just the way it is,” the caller said.
“Well, it shouldn’t be that way, actually, and I don’t know anybody who said they would they would get rid of the IRS, but if they did that’s their right, that’s their First Amendment right to do that,” Ms. Mitchell responded. “And a government employee is not supposed to superimpose his beliefs or his judgment or his concern about his job over those of a citizen who has a first amendment right to express that opinion to abolish the IRS or to change the tax code.”
Here’s a video of the exchange:
The IRS scandal has taken a backseat in media coverage, largely due to the 2016 election, but new developments are still coming to light.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the IRS is now under fire for destroying records:
Instant Document Destruction at the IRS
Has the Internal Revenue Service been systematically evading federal record-keeping laws? On Monday the Cause of Action Institute sued the IRS and commissioner John Koskinen for refusing to preserve electronic employee communications that concern official business.
Cause of Action says that in 2010 the IRS struck a little-noticed agreement with the National Treasury Employees Union not to record employees’ instant messages. The watchdog group also says that in response to its Freedom of Information Act requests for text messages sent by senior IRS officials, the agency replied that due to “routine system housekeeping” and “spacing constraints,” IRS text messages are retained for only 14 days before they are deleted.
Both actions appear to violate the Federal Records Act that requires agencies to preserve all relevant documents. The agency says it retains emails, at least those that don’t disappear in mysterious computer crashes. But if employees can send text messages and not save them, they can avoid records retention. “No agreement with a union or any other party can supersede Americans’ right to know how the IRS makes decisions,” says Cause of Action. “In addition, the IRS is violating the law by regularly deleting all employee text messages as a matter of convenience.”
Whether the IRS is abolished or not, a complete change in leadership is obviously needed.
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