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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Special Prosecutor for the IRS -- Despite her denials, it's now plain that Lois Lerner was deeply involved in targeting conservative nonprofit groups -- By Jim Jordan, The Wall Street Journal

The House Oversight Committee's investigation of the IRS is at an inflection point. The president's congressional supporters realize that the administration's version of the agency's targeting of conservative nonprofits seeking tax-exempt status—such as blaming local officials in the Cincinnati office or claiming that liberal groups were victimized along with conservative groups—is nonsense. Instead of debating the substance, they have resorted to procedural antics and misleading rhetoric. 

I have spent a considerable amount of time and energy on the investigation—which included 38 daylong interviews of IRS and Treasury employees ranging from line employees in Cincinnati to the IRS commissioner to the chief of staff of the U.S. Treasury. The real news has been revealed at the Lois Lerner hearing on March 5 and in the report of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on March 11: "Lois Lerner's Involvement in the IRS Targeting of Tax-Exempt Organizations."

The evidence brought to light in that hearing and report completely discredited Ms. Lerner's claims about her involvement in what went on. It also eviscerated the notion that liberal and conservative groups were targeted.

When Ms. Lerner appeared before Congress in May 2013, she made this statement: "I have done nothing wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations." But Ms. Lerner, we discovered, forwarded confidential taxpayer information to her personal email account in early May 2013, which is a violation of IRS rules. About the infamous "Be on the Lookout" targeting list—a document used to identify conservative groups for additional scrutiny—she told Congress that the criteria for screening tax-exempt groups for extra scrutiny never changed. In fact, she personally ordered it changed in July 2011 according to documents and testimony received by the committee. 

Ms. Lerner was most certainly driven by politics. One email of June 11, 2011, shows that she directed her subordinate to focus on the issues surrounding the application of Karl Rove's group, Crossroads GPS. In another email of Feb. 1, 2011, she frets about the Supreme Court "overturning the ban on corporate spending" as it applies to nonprofits. (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission also overturned the ban on union political spending, but she expressed no concern about that.)
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