Working for the Democratic Party: Newly released FBI documents show that the IRS purposely aimed its harassment against conservatives and tea party groups solely because of their opposition to the Democratic Party and the Obama administration.
The FBI 302 documents confirm the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) 2013 report that said, “Senior IRS officials knew that agents were targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny as early as 2011.” Lerner did not reveal the targeting until May 2013, in response to a planted question at an American Bar Association conference. The new documents reveal that then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller actually wrote Lerner’s response: “They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.”
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 Miller to conduct an internal investigation stated, “Cincinnati was categorizing cases based on name and ideology, not just activity.”
Read the whole thing. The documents show that the targeting was under the direct supervision of high IRS supervisors such as Lois Lerner and Holly Paz. The documents also show that the IRS commissioner at the time, Douglas Shulman, lied to Congress when he claimed that “There is absolutely no targeting.” He was clearly informed at the time that conservatives were being targeted for harassment.
Sadly, I will not celebrate when and if Donald Trump uses the precedent of this scandal (whereby the government got away with using the IRS to destroy its opponents) to go after his opponents. I fully expect him to do so, and though some of them might deserve it for their own illegal and oppressive behavior, such retaliation by Trump will only signal the coming end to American freedom.