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Tapper: IRS Knew Two Years Ago Agency was Targeting Tea Party

by Jerry Bader

For the love of Pete, will the Mainstream Media realize this time that it's sitting on an actual scandal?  The IRS flatly denied this type of Tea Party targeting was taking place:

The IRS commissioner at the time said at a March 2012 congressional hearing that his agency did not target conservative groups for political reasons.

"I can give you assurances. We pride ourselves in being a nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization," Commissioner Douglas Shulman said. "There is absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back and forth that happens when people apply for 501(c)(4) status." 

Upon what information did Shulman base that proclamation? How could he say then so conclusively it wasn't happening and then Lerner say on Friday they didn't know it was happening??? How can both be true? Answer: they can't. Did they investigate at all when groups were complaining of harassment? And it's clear now they knew about this for some time:

Congress asks questions

By March of 2012, Congress was asking questions of the IRS. That month, Shulman denied the agency targeted groups for political reasons at the congressional hearing.

There was also an exchange of letters involving Capitol Hill, Shulman and Lerner.

"News reports ... indicate that the IRS effort lacks balance, with conservative organizations being the target of the IRS's scrutiny," Issa wrote to Lerner in a March 27, 2012 letter obtained by CNN. He noted a Capitol Hill news outlet had "contacted several liberal groups ... (and) none had received the recently-sent questionnaire."

Lerner responded that the IRS sets aside "applications that require further development by an agent in order to determine whether the application meets the requirements for tax-exempt status. ...

"The revenue agent uses sound reasoning based on tax law training and his or her experience to review the application and identify the additional information needed to make a proper determination of the organization's exempt status," she wrote deeper in the eight-page response.

She did not disclose in that letter the IRS targeted conservative groups, even if for nonpolitical reasons. 

She already knew the targeting of TPM groups had taken place when she responded in this fashion! Here's something else someone, somewhere in the media needs to investigate; what the Obama administration knew. White House spokesman Jay Carney was treating the IRS as a foreign object, saying that "if" such and such happened there should be serious consequences. Claims that the WH was oblivious to this effort should not be easily accepted as fact.

By the way, the earlier defense the left is mounting is "both parties have used the IRS for political purposes." While not entirely untrue, largely irrelevant. Drip, drip, drip is becoming a ubiquitous sound in Washington these days.