Skip to comments.No Less Than a Special Counsel
Posted on 05/18/2013 10:20:44 AM PDT by Kaslin
When you get right down to it, the political targeting and stalling of tax-exempt applications by the IRS was an effort to defund the Tea Party. Rick Santelli, one of the Tea Party founders and my CNBC colleague, was the first to make this point. Ive taken it a step further: The IRS was taking the Tea Party out of play for the 2012 election, as it looked to avoid a repeat of 2010 and another Tea Party landslide.
There are a lot of numbers out there. Some say Tea Party applications for tax-exempt status averaged 27 months for approval, while applications from liberal groups averaged nine. In one extreme case, according to the Washington Post, the IRS granted the Barack H. Obama Foundation tax-exempt status in a speedy one-month timeframe. Yet some conservative groups waited up to three years, and some still havent received approval.
But there can be only one reason for the stalled-out approval process for conservative groups. The IRS was trying to put them out of business. Thus far, theres not one wit of contradictory evidence.
Think of this: If the IRS wasnt politically targeting conservative groups, why did its leading spokespeople lie? This was not even cognitive dissonance. It was outright lying before Congress. Lois Lerner, a key player in the IRSs tax-exempt division, is being accused by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee of no fewer than four lies. The inspector generals report shows that she knew about the targeting problem in June 2011, but wouldnt admit to it in correspondence with Congress over the next two years.
Then theres former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, a Bush appointee. He apparently knew about the targeting in May 2012, but told Congress in August 2012 that he didnt.
Or theres former IRS acting director Steve Miller, who was just pushed out. He also knew about the targeting in May 2012, but later refused to admit it to Congress during testimony.
In fact, the whole bloody agency may have known about it on August 4, 2011. According to the Treasury Department IG report, various IRS big wigs met that day to talk about the conservative-targeting problem. That meeting may have included the IRSs chief counsel; while the IG report says he was at the meeting, the IRS has denied that he was. But if one of his minions was at the meeting, the chief counsel would have known about the problem.
And it turns out the Treasurys inspector general, J. Russell George, told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 that he was auditing the IRSs political-organization screening. That means White House appointees in the Treasury, including deputy secretary Neal Wolin, were aware of the IRS scandal before the presidential election. According to the New York Times, IG George did not tell the officials of his conclusions that the targeting had been improper.
No one knows the exact facts, which presumably will come out in the hearings. But this is important stuff. It is conspiracy stuff. Criminal stuff.
We already know that IRS employees gave heavily to Obama in 2008 and 2012, and very little to candidates McCain and Romney. But who was the quarterback in all this? Who was managing the targeting operation in the bowels of the IRS?
It could have been Sarah Hall Ingram. She served as commissioner of the IRSs tax-exempt division between 2009 and 2012. And she got a $100,000 bonus for her efforts. And now -- incredibly -- shes running the IRSs Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) office, leaving her successor Joseph Grant to take the fall. But he just turned tail and resigned.
And now get this: President Obama has named OMB controller Daniel Werfel acting director of the IRS. And hes only going to serve between May 22 and the end of the fiscal year, which is September 30. Are you kidding?
In four months, were to believe Mr. Werfel is going to piece together the lies, finger the quarterback, and replace everybody who was involved, not just in the now-infamous Cincinnati office, but in offices in Washington, D.C., two towns in California, and even Austin, Texas. (Thats the latest count.) And this guy Werfel is also supposed to manage the agency which is adding Obamacare to its income-tax-collection responsibilities. In four months.
An independent special counsel with subpoena power is the only possible solution. This counsel must find out exactly what happened and who was involved, and then come up with a fix so it never happens again. Of course, Obama charged Treasury secretary Jack Lew with straightening this out. But Lews an Obama political operative.
By the way, a special counsel will have to do a special investigation, since were already learning the inspector-general investigation was a very superficial operation. And an independent special counsel can investigate any possible White House connections with senior Treasury officials, connections that could lead to the Oval Office.
We may hate the IRS because of its taxing power. We may hate it more because of its new Obamacare power. But it is a massively important government agency. And now we know that it is fraught with corruption and a liberal-left political agenda.
Only an independent special counsel could possibly straighten this mess out.
I think the problem with the special prosecutor and this IRS episode....there just might not be a law violated. Ethics violations? Tons. But actual laws? It’s going to be hard to identify any such law that would affect the IRS technicians.
Personal lawsuits might get interesting...if you can prove any supervisor ordered delays....you could arrange a lawsuit in Alabama, and likely get a million in damages. That might be the more interesting thing to watch as each group engages in lawsuits and forces personal pains on the idiots who did the damage.
The problem is that the GOP elected officials, knowing that they’re next to go, are probably happy the Tea Party was attacked.
If you’re waiting for Boehner, you’ll wait a long long time.
Speculations are nothing but speculations
The problem with the lawsuits is, of course, that more taxpayer funds are spent! I think true justice might be applied in far more creative ways. Retro-active approvals for all (otherwise worthy) applicants, including tax-exemptions for all contributors, public apology ads paid for by fines of at-fault individuals and their respective campaigns, NOT by the taxpayer, ditto for the legal and accounting fees (including all follow-on suits) of the victim-groups.
Without doubt, however, the best revenge of all is the dissolution or diminution of the IRS, a flat or fair tax.
One last qualm. It seems to me that the IG mentioned several times that he’d found no evidence of political or partisan IRS activity. While he’s no doubt careful not to overstate his findings based on the scope of his investigation, how can any sane person not see partisan means in partisan ends? And no one seems to be calling him out on this.
Disagree. There were probably many laws broken. And besides this, the coverup is where most law-breaking occurs. Yes, special prosecutor is needed because somebody needs to go to jail.
Whenever someone commits a crime, it costs the taxpayers money to investigate and bring criminals to justice. We cannot count the cost of doing so without comparing the much higher cost of allowing criminals to suffer no consequences for their crimes.
Actually, I want a Joint Select Committee of Congress, just like watergate had. Blasted in front of every camera on the planet. That's the only way to drain this swamp all the way to the bottom.
A special counsel will simply give the WH and lefties cover under the 'can't comment on on-going investigations' lie.
OPEN IT UP AND SHINE THE LIGHT OF DAY ON IT!
Short of civil insurrection.
Exactly right. A Special Counsel is one man, and subject to blackmail and intimidation. If the House also proves to be subject to blackmail and intimidation, then we have no chance, anyway. But they at least need to reassert their rights as a co-equal branch of government.
Right now they have not too much to fear, a special counsel would change that pretty quickly.
Your right about that. A one man team wouldn’t stand a chance. Remember Ken Starr?
The House need to take this up and hold up all funding for all govt programs while spending their time investigating this mess and do it with lots of publicity.
Also, I think the special counsel law has lapsed and would have to be reauthorized by the house and obama’s senate.
That would not happen. The rats are loyal to their party first.