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The lawsuit of a pro-Israeli organization, filed in August 2010, makes the IRS extremely vulnerable to deep legal investigation.
[Y]esterday saw the beginning of the discovery phase in the lawsuit by Z-Street a pro-Israel organization that was told its application for tax exempt status was being delayed because “…these cases are being sent to a special unit in the DC office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies.” …
Judge Jackson gave the IRS until June 26 to respond to Z-Street. That deadline has now passed, so the case enters discovery. This means that Z-Street can subpoena IRS officials, place them under oath, and ask them questions about how they acted, and cross examine them closely. They can also subpoena documents and require their production. This is much different than a House committee hearing in which members have only a few minutes to ask questions, and when friendly Democrats have their opportunity to apologize for the impertinence of daring to ask questions of our IRS masters. Depositions taken under oath can last many hours and involve detailed questions.
What makes the Z-Street case unique and potentially extremely damaging is that its lawsuit was filed in August 2010. That filing placed the IRS under legal obligation to preserve records.
As the article notes, as a legal proceeding it will be practically impossible for the IRS to stonewall, as it has done during Congressional hearings. Like the Judicial Watch case that will have a hearing on July 10, the IRS was required under the law to make sure evidence was not destroyed, and failed to do so. And like that case, the court will have the right to demand answers about that failure and get them.
I want to underline the basis of the Z-Street case: An IRS official admitted that this organization’s tax exempt status was being delayed merely because its “activities contradict the Administration’s public policies.” Think about that. The IRS believes it can decide your tax liability and status based on your political opinion.
Doesn’t that capture in a nutshell the entire scandal, in which the IRS was used as a weapon to harass opponents of the Democratic Party and specifically of Barack Obama.