WaPo: IRS targeting of Tea Party, conservative groups also in Washington office

posted at 8:01 am on May 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The story told by Lois Lerner in Friday’s IRS apology continues to fall apart faster than Al Capone’s audit defense.  Last night, the Washington Post revealed that the effort to target opponents of the Obama administration was not limited to just one office in Cincinnati, but encompassed three other offices as well — one of which was IRS headquarters in Washington DC.

How convenient:

Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved in the targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, making clear that the effort reached well beyond the branch in Cincinnati that was initially blamed, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

IRS officials at the agency’s Washington headquarters sent queries to conservative groups asking about their donors and other aspects of their operations, while officials in the El Monte and Laguna Niguel offices in California sent similar questionnaires to tea-party-affiliated groups, the documents show.

The search terms turned out to be even more broad than first thought.  Guess what another one was? “Voter fraud,” apparently:

In one instance, however, Ron Bell, an IRS employee, informed a lawyer representing a conservative group focused on voter fraud that the application was under review in Washington. On several other occasions, IRS officials in Washington and California sent conservative groups detailed questionnaires about their voter outreach and other activities, according to the documents.

“For the IRS to say it was some low-level group in Cincinnati is simply false,” said Cleta Mitchell, a partner in the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP who sought to communicate with IRS headquarters about the delay in granting tax-exempt status to True the Vote.

By the way, does anyone remember what the Obama administration thinks about the effort to fight voter fraud?  And now we have evidence that the IRS targeted groups that want to pursue more stringent processes to prevent voter fraud. What a coincidence this must be.  How … convenient.

The Post also catches up with the who-knew-what-and-when of the story:

Moreover, details of the IRS’s efforts to target conservative groups reached the highest levels of the agency in May 2012, far earlier than has been disclosed, according to Republican congressional aides briefed by the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration ­(TIGTA) on the details of their reviews.

Then-Commissioner Douglas Shulman, a George W. Bush appointee who stepped down in November, received a briefing from the TIGTA about what was happening in the Cincinnati office in May 2012, the aides said. His deputy and the agency’s current acting commissioner, Steven T. Miller, also learned about the matter that month, the aides said.

Let’s raise a red flag on the Shulman claim.  It’s very convenient for Shulman to claim now that he was briefed in May 2012, because he testified twice in March 2012 that nothing of this sort was happening at the IRS.  However, the IRS chief counsel — the top attorney in the organization — was informed in August 2011 of this targeting.  Just how likely would it have been that Shulman’s chief lawyer would have failed to mention this for nine months, and waited to brief him on it until Shulman was almost out the door?  I’d call that extremely unlikely, and even putting that aside, it still leaves the question of why Shulman never bothered to let anyone know about it, even as a private citizen.

Clearly, this strategy was no isolated incident. Four separate offices spread far across the country worked to put this targeting in place against the political opponents of the White House.  That alone smacks of higher-level coordination, at either the IRS Commissioner level or above.  The fact that it took place in the IRS’ Washington headquarters also shows that it was no rogue effort that ran wild due to lack of supervision.  This was purposeful.

Cui bono?  To whose benefit was this done? The buck stops at the White House — because that’s where the benefits of political harassment would start.

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Kind of sad when libfree runs away because you know he’s crying while doing so. Getting beat into the dirt on every topic has to take a toll on the guy, I tear up a bit thinking about it.

Bishop on May 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Today’s Presser is 5 minutes late….the profusely sweating & scheming WH must be circling the wagons & trying to figure out what to do, wat lies to tell today…possibly drawing straws to see who gets fed to the ‘lions’. Carney must be tired of getting chewed on, looking like a complete & utter bafoon spewing what everyone knows is nothing but lies!

I would LOVE to see the media, if Carney does nothing but spew more incredulous lies, just get up and WALK OUT, leaving Carney alone in the room, seeing as how they wouldn’t get anything anywhere resembling ‘truth’ anywhere in this whole Presser….

easyt65 on May 14, 2013 at 12:38 PM

This should send shivers though every American. The most powerful federal agency involving itself in the politics of American citizens with distinct bias.

The sad but brutally honest truth is as long as the mega-partisan, self/party-serving, criminals in Washington continue to dole out the Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Welfare, Food Stamps, Obamacare, Obamaphones, etc the voting majority of Americans won’t give a [email protected]!

(God, I pray they prove me wrong!)

easyt65 on May 14, 2013 at 12:18 PM

The Gosnell jury guilty verdict surprised many folks including me…

Some things bring out the Samuel Adams in any American.

Sp we’ll see…

workingclass artist on May 14, 2013 at 12:40 PM

WOW: “IRS Won’t Say If It Will Comply With Congressional Demand for All Communications and Names Involved in Discriminating Against Tea Party Groups”

Must be nice to be completely above the law, untouchable to Congress, to have the Law & Constitution be little more than ‘Multiple Choice / A La Carte’….

This stance by the IRS is nothing more than a reflection of the whole Obama Administration from the 1st day of his 1st term in office…

easyt65 on May 14, 2013 at 12:42 PM

So according to libfreeordie, it’s not Charles Rangel’s fault that he’s a tax cheat; the fact that he is in Congress made him cheat on his taxes.

Of course, what that proves is that white people are superior to black people, since white people are able to be members of Congress without cheating on their taxes.

The funny part about libfreeordie and his fellow black academics is that their entire existence revolves around making it clear that black people are helpless children who need white massas in government to tell them what to do and to keep them from hurting themselves — and when they do hurt themselves, it’s because their white liberal massas failed them and need to take tighter control of them.

Robert Byrd would be proud.

northdallasthirty on May 14, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Sane reporting on the non-scandal. http://http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/05/irs-tea-party-scandal-congress-nonprofit-obama

libfreeordie on May 14, 2013 at 8:58 AM



Del Dolemonte on May 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

anti-black violence is a hallmark of the U.S. government.

libfreeordie on May 14, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Please cite credible, multi-sourced examples of such violence under the following Administrations:

1. FDR

2. Harry Truman

3. JFK

4. LBJ

5. Jimmy Carter

6. Bill Clinton

(Starts Sundial)

Del Dolemonte on May 14, 2013 at 1:46 PM

25 years ago yesterday, the government targeted a black political organization….with a bunker bomb killing 11 people including five children and burning down 65 homes. No one involved in the bombing was ever prosecuted. So excuse me if this IRS questionnaire doesn’t quite register.


libfreeordie on May 14, 2013 at 8:33 AM

I believe this translates to “Hey! I don’t like this discussion! Let’s talk about a new topic!”

Followed a few minutes later with whining,

Not a single substantive response to the fact that conservative outrage far outstrips this level of state “harassment” that other non-white political groups have experienced. Oh wait, because there is no response possible, facts are facts.

libfreeordie on May 14, 2013 at 8:37 AM

So you would you like us to drop all discussion of a huge scandal affecting high levels of government and probably traceable back to the president or people very close to him, and start talking instead about something that happened over 25 years ago in another city done under a mayor who’s no longer in office?

Yeah, that makes sense.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 14, 2013 at 1:55 PM

How many logical fallacies can a liberal stuff into a single sentence?

Mimzey on May 14, 2013 at 8:40 AM

That depends on how long the liberal gibbers.

Liam on May 14, 2013 at 8:44 AM

If the liberal is John Kerry, then the question is unanswerable. No one can make it to to the end of any of his sentences.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 14, 2013 at 1:59 PM

LMAO at libfree getting absolutely ruined by casuist.

Good Solid B-Plus on May 14, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Black mayors in the 80s? Yes, they are guilty of some pretty horrific anti-black governance. This is not a threatening notion for me. It only speaks to how endemic anti-blackness is to the structure of the state that even black folks appropriated into the state become participants.

libfreeordie on May 14, 2013 at 10:31 AM

So you’re still demanding that your pet topic is the real topic of the thread? I’m sure we should all ignore this foolishness, but I have to laugh at the claim that a black man who runs for mayor of a major city and wins was just “appropriated” into “the state” and became a “participant” in “anti-blackness.”

I mean, I realize that academics can make entire careers of this sort of nonsense, but that only works in the academic hothouse environment.

Anywhere else, it’s still nonsense.

And the real topic of the thread is still that the IRS harassment of people opposed to the agenda of the progressives in Washington DC … can be traced all the way back to the progressives in Washington DC.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 14, 2013 at 2:26 PM

I haven’t been able to get through to “biggovernment.com” for about 4 days. Is it my connection or is something wrong?

Portia46 on May 14, 2013 at 3:27 PM

I haven’t been able to get through to “biggovernment.com” for about 4 days. Is it my connection or is something wrong?

Portia46 on May 14, 2013 at 3:27 PM

I have no problems, it redirects to this address and your machine should as well:


slickwillie2001 on May 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM

I haven’t been able to get through to “biggovernment.com” for about 4 days. Is it my connection or is something wrong?
Portia46 on May 14, 2013 at 3:27 PM

I have no problems, it redirects to this address and your machine should as well:
slickwillie2001 on May 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM

If you wonder if a site is down or if it’s just down for you, this is a helpful site to let you know:


whatcat on May 14, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Imagine that for a bit. Imagine being consumed by your academic fetish but being constantly shown as wrong on almost every topic you introduce here outside of a laughably self-limited sort of “the influence of women professors in gay black history and how it influences future gay history of blacks and women” sphere of knowledge.
Now imagine knowing that the non-bubble folks you choose to congregate with care very little about your womens-/LBGT-/black-studies knowledge. And, worse, often laugh openly about its perceived value after you prove you haven’t bothered to learn much else.
Sadder still is knowing that he comes here and gets knocked around academically by people who probably only graduated high school but who have genuine intellectual curiousity and have educated themselves on different topics, and this forces him to return to the comfort of that little womens-/LBGT-/black-studies bubble where he knows what he’s expected to say to be told he’s smart again.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
rogerb on February 5, 2013 at 7:03 AM

rogerb on May 14, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Maybe someone can answer this question for me.

Why in the hell isn’t Whorehouse Harry Reid in jail. This pile of donkey squeeze stood up in the Senate chamber and claimed that he had inside information that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid taxes in 20 years. Him and all the Chi-Town thugs should be serving time in prison for this. If Whorehouse had access to this information you can bet money on it that Obummer and all of his scumbag hacks did to.

Anybody that says it didn’t happen or it’s just isolated are Foxtrot Oscar Sierra.

Due to the respect I have for this forum and website I held back in the above sentence.

Again thanks to all who started and maintained this website.
73, (Best Regards)

hamradio on May 15, 2013 at 12:04 AM

Just finished reading this thread.

You guys really need to stop biting down on libfree’s red herrings. All he’s doing is baiting.

I’m shocked he hasn’t been banned yet.

fossten on May 15, 2013 at 7:43 AM