IRS officials say lives at risk in tea party bias case Details about tea party bias claims against the IRS could remain secret because current and former agency officials say their lives are in danger if they publicly testify about the case.
The FBI documents also reveal that IRS officials stated that the agency was targeting conservative groups because of their ideology and political affiliation in the summer of 2011. According to one senior tax law specialist, “The case seemed to be pulled because of the applicant’s political affiliation and screening is not supposed to occur that way … [Redacted] said he thought the cases were being pulled based upon political affiliations.” And IRS senior official Nancy Marks, appointed by [then-acting Commissioner Steven] Miller to conduct an internal investigation stated, “Cincinnati was categorizing cases based on name and ideology, not just activity.”
The Justice Department notified members of Congress on Friday that it is closing its two-year investigation into whether the IRS improperly targeted tea party and other conservative groups. There will be no charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner or anyone else at the agency, the Justice Department said in a letter. The probe found "substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia leading to the belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted them based on their political viewpoints. But poor management is not a crime."Despite incriminating evidence and findings by IRS inspectors that Tea Party and conservative groups were treated worse than other groups, DOJ found no support for the view that Lerner and others were politically motivated, as CNN further reported:
“It is disturbing that the Obama administration’s explanations to a federal judge about Lois Lerner’s emails become inoperative after only one week. Last week, the court was told that that Lois Lerner had a second alias email account under the name “Toby Miles”. This week the court is told that the “Toby Miles” account isn’t a separate account but that that there still is a second Lerner account, address unrevealed, with IRS-related emails. This game of cat and mouse shows that both the Obama IRS and Justice Department continue with their contempt for Judge Sullivan’s orders that Ms. Lerner’s emails about this scandal be disclosed as the law requires.”The August 31 status report reads, in part (full embed at bottom of post):
Lois Lerner had yet another personal email account used to conduct some IRS business, the tax agency confirmed in a new court filing late Monday that further complicates the administration’s efforts to be transparent about Ms. Lerner’s actions during the tea party targeting scandal. The admission came in an open-records lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that has sued to get a look at emails Ms. Lerner sent during the targeting.The Status Report (embed below) discloses, in relevant part:
On August 24, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (“Service”) released to Judicial Watch, Inc., a CD containing documents responsive to Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request for Lois Lerner communications regarding the review and approval process for 501(c)(4) applications.... In the process of preparing this status report and for the August 24, 2015, release of Lerner communications, the undersigned attorneys learned that, in addition to emails to or from an email account denominated “Lois G. Lerner” or “Lois Home,” some emails responsive to Judicial Watch’s request may have been sent to or received from a personal email account denominated “Toby Miles.” The undersigned attorneys contacted the Office of IRS Chief Counsel, and IRS Chief Counsel attorneys informed the undersigned attorneys that these denominations refer to a personal email account used by Lerner. (See Pl.’s Mot. for Status Conf., 15 n.8 (Docket No. 20-2) (noting that the Congressional database includes documents that Lerner’s attorneys provided from Lerner’s “personal home computer and email on her personal email” account(s)).)
Lois Lerner: GOP is ‘Evil and Dishonest’ Former IRS official Lois Lerner said that Republicans are “evil and dishonest,” in a email dated March 26, according to Fox News reporter James Rosen. In the email, Lois Lerner described the time when she was called back to testify about the IRS targeting of conservatives before Congress. “They called me back to testify, on IRS ‘scandal,” Lerner wrote. “I took the fifth again and they had been so evil and dishonest in my lawyer’s dealings with them.”Here's the video report with James Rosen of FOX News:
Judicial Watch: New Documents Show IRS Used Donor Lists to Target Audits (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained documents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that confirm that the IRS used donor lists to tax-exempt organizations to target those donors for audits. The documents also show IRS officials specifically highlighted how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce may come under “high scrutiny” from the IRS. The IRS produced the records in a Freedom of Information lawsuit seeking documents about selection of individuals for audit-based application information on donor lists submitted by Tea Party and other 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations (Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:15-cv-00220)). A letter dated September 28, 2010, then-Democrat Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) informs then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman: “ I request that you and your agency survey major 501(c)(4), (c)(5) and (c)(6) organizations …” In reply, in a letter dated February 17, 2011, Shulman writes: “In the work plan of the Exempt Organizations Division, we announced that beginning in FY2011, we are increasing our focus on section 501(c)(4), (5) and (6) organizations.”
“This underscores that our investigation into IRS abuse is far from over,” a House Ways and Means Committee spokesman said Wednesday. “The committee will thoroughly review these new emails as part of our ongoing efforts to find out exactly what happened and provide accountability."
Judge orders IRS to release list of tea party groups targeted for scrutiny A federal judge ordered the IRS this week to turn over the list of 298 groups it targeted for intrusive scrutiny as the agency defends against a potential class-action lawsuit by tea party groups who claim their constitutional rights were violated. The IRS had argued it shouldn’t have to release the names because doing do would violate privacy laws, but Judge Susan J. Dlott, who sits in the Southern District of Ohio, rejected that claim and ordered the tax agency to turn over any lists or spreadsheets detailing the groups that were targeted and when they filed their applications. Judge Dlott also ordered the IRS to say whether a partial list of targeted groups reported by USA Today is authentic as a number of tea party groups try to win certification for a class action lawsuit against the IRS.
The Justice Department will not seek criminal contempt charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner, the central figure in a scandal that erupted over whether the tax agency improperly targeted conservative political groups.
Obama administration won’t release IRS targeting documents The Obama administration is refusing to publicly release more than 500 documents on the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups. Twenty months after the IRS scandal broke, there are still many unanswered questions about who was spearheading the agency’s scrutiny of conservative-leaning organizations. The Hill sought access to government documents that might provide a glimpse of the decision-making through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The Hill asked for 2013 emails and other correspondence between the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The request specifically sought emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner and Treasury officials, including Secretary Jack Lew, while the inspector general was working on its explosive May 2013 report that the IRS used “inappropriate criteria” to review the political activities of tax-exempt groups. TIGTA opted not to release any of the 512 documents covered by the request, citing various exemptions in the law. The Hill recently appealed the FOIA decision, but TIGTA denied the appeal. TIGTA also declined to comment for this article.The Department of Justice, which hasn't been politicized in any way, may be partially to blame for the slowness of the investigation.
The newly released documents include an intense chain of emails in which Lerner pleads with Grant, who was a supervisor to her, to “put this [Grant’s planned visit to Cincinnati] off please” at the very time during which both the internal IRS watchdog and Congress were investigating whether the IRS had been inappropriately targeting conservative groups in the months leading up to the 2012 elections. The chain begins with an email from Lerner to Grant, apparently written in response to her learning of the Deputy Director’s planned visit to the Cincinnati office: • April 4, 2012 – 4:41 PM – Lois Lerner to Joseph Grant: We just gor an very extensive information request from Imraan [Imraan Khakoo, TE/GE official] –sure looks like op review material. I’m especially concerned that information about pipeline is being asked about … Add to that the fact tha cincinnati is smack dab in the middle of the c4 Congressional inqueries and is about to get a request from TIGTA on all of that, this is NOT a good time to be asking them for anything or to be talking to them about issue in their work. Everyone is stressed to the max and at their wits end, so can we put this off please? [Typos in originals] • April 4, 2012 – 5:17 PM – Joseph Grant to Lois Lerner: It is a visit, not an OP review … I am also interested in the questions Imraan sent to them. Some answers should be readily at hand. Others certainly won’t be … The questions just serve as a framework for a broader conversation about how things are going and what is on our respective minds. • April 4, 2012 – 5:26 PM – Lois Lerner to Joseph Grant: I get that–but timing would be bad if we have to go to Cincy now. So, I will assume we can go over this here as I get the information I’ve already asked for? Thanks.Breathe, Lois, breathe!
Jason Mattera of the Daily Surge recently filmed an unannounced confrontation with former IRS employee Lois Lerner in her own neighborhood. Lerner fled his camera and tried (unsuccessfully) to seek refuge in a neighbor’s home: ... This may seem invasive and inappropriate, but as Jason Mattera asks her in so many words, is it any more inappropriate than the way Lerner used her position at the IRS to target average Americans? So what do you think. After viewing the video, and considering how it must feel for any controversial public figure (do unto others?) to be confronted where s/he lives, was the questioning of Lerner a good thing?The result of the Reader Poll was overwhelming:
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