BREAKING: New Emails Show IRS Targeting Came From Washington
Several newly-released Internal Revenue Service emails contradict Obama administration claims that targeting of Tea Party and other conservative nonprofit groups was limited to the Cincinnati office of the IRS.
The emails, obtained by the conservative organization Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request, indicate that officials in the Washington, D.C. offices of the IRS were directly involved in singling out these organizations.
One of the emails, authored by the former director of the IRS Rulings and Agreements office who was fired in the wake of the targeting scandal, requested IRS attorney Steven Grodnitzky to inform managers in the Cincinnati and Los Angeles offices of the IRS how to deal with applications for nonprofit status submitted by Tea Party groups.
In his emailed response, Grodnitzky states that his office, the Exempt Organizations Technical Unit, was working on applications “here in D.C.” and coordinating with the Cincinnati office.
Furthermore, Lois Lerner, held in contempt of Congress by the House of Representatives on May 7 for her refusal to answer questions regarding the improper scrutiny given to conservative groups by her office, authored the list of benchmarks to be used by the IRS in determining whether or not to subject applications for nonprofit status to additional scrutiny.
As noted by the Washington Examiner:
In the April 2013 email, Lerner describes the broad criteria for including a nonprofit applicant among those targeted as being linked to the Tea Party under the BOLO — “Be On The Lookout” for — designation:
Such applicants included “organizations meeting any of the following criteria as falling within the BOLO’s reference to “tea party” organizations: 1. ‘Tea Party’, ‘Patriots’ or ’9/12 Project’ is referenced in the case file. 2. Issues include government spending, government debt and taxes. 3. Educate the public through advocacy/legislative activities to make America a better place to live. 4. Statements in the case file that are critical of the how the country is being run.”
In another email, from February 2010, Sharon Camarillo of the Los Angeles IRS Office asked Cindy Thomas in Cincinnati to “let ‘Washington’ know about this potentially politically embarrassing case” involving a nonprofit application from a Tea Party organization.
Although the administration has previously claimed that the IRS targeting of conservative groups was limited to the Cincinnati office, these recently-released emails appear to contradict those claims directly.
The House recently approved a resolution calling on Eric Holder‘s Justice Department to investigate the handling of these applications by the IRS.
The entire targeting effort was brought on by political pressure from Obama and top Democrats in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision to “deal” with conservative groups participating in elections.
As Trey Gowdy has pointed out, this thing wasn’t the act of a few lone IRS officials in Cincinnati, but came all the way from Washington in an effort to silence conservatives.
Please share this article on Facebook and Twitter if you believe that the Justice Department should appoint a special prosecutor to investigate improper targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.