Treasury IG: No IRS employee interviewed by us would acknowledge who ordered the targeting of conservatives

posted at 6:01 pm on June 3, 2013 by Allahpundit

Am I understanding this correctly? He’s not saying they didn’t know who gave the order but rather that, quite possibly, some of them did know — and simply refused to say? Here’s the direct quote via Andrew Stiles:

“We did pose that question, and no one would acknowledge who, if anyone, provided that direction.”

That “if anyone” is a cute little hedge but obviously someone gave the order. Extra scrutiny for conservative groups isn’t something that began organically among 88 different employees. We already know from a New York Times story a few weeks ago that some “manager” up the chain told them to get cracking on this. Oddly, though, the Times couldn’t nail down which manager it was. Steve Miller, in his testimony before Issa’s committee, claimed that he’d been told once before who was responsible but … had since forgot. And now we find that Treasury’s own inspector general, whose report noted that the targeting began when a specialist in the Determinations Unit “was asked” to take a closer look at conservative groups, couldn’t figure out who did the asking. Which raises two possibilities. One: Collective amnesia. Two: A whole lot of employees are intimidated by the thought of getting on the wrong side of whoever it is who ordered this, a realization that’s doubly interesting given the transcript Issa released suggesting interest among IRS officials in Washington in some of these cases at the time.

Speaking of which, another tidbit from the Corner:

Congressional investigators are probing the highest echelons of the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, D.C., in connection with the agency’s targeting of conservative groups, according to documents obtained by National Review Online. Those documents, provided by an IRS employee who asked to remain anonymous, indicates that those being asked to provide computer data to investigators include the agency’s chief counsel, William J. Wilkins, and both of his deputies. The chief counsel is one of just two political appointments at the IRS made by the president.

Investigators asked the IRS to gather all data from the computers of several employees throughout the agency, and their request, according to the source, was broadened late last week to include over a dozen employees in the chief counsel’s office. They include chief counsel William Wilkins as well as his deputy chief counsel for operations, Christopher Sterner and his deputy chief counsel for technical matters, Erik Corwin. Investigators are also mining the computer data of two lawyers in the chief counsel’s office responsible for procedures and administration, and nine others who oversee tax exempt and government entitites. In all, the hard drives of 19 lawyers in the chief counsel’s office are being turned over to investigators.

Does the IRS’s own lawyer know who ordered the targeting or does he have amnesia too?

Update: From Drudge’s editor, Joseph Curl:


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

William J. Wilkins, and both of his deputies

Here come the patsies.

Key West Reader on June 3, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Why were conservatives and conservative affiliated groups being targeted?

Why was the IRS being used as a bludgeon against those with different political philosophies?

Why was the man tryin to keep us down?

Conservative, its the new black gay

ted c on June 3, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Ted, will you run in 2014? Local office, I mean. How’ve you been?

Key West Reader on June 3, 2013 at 7:45 PM

What did the PRESIDENT know and when did he know it?

Khun Joe on June 3, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Heh. He ordered it. That pompous POS stood at a State of the Union address and scolded SCOTUS about the Citizens United decision. He’s the King and if he can’t follow the law he’ll get in through another back door. Kinda like ACORN does.

Key West Reader on June 3, 2013 at 7:50 PM

I saw an ad for this on Fox News today:

Ted Cruz, abolish IRS (Petition)

Trouble is, it took lots of Googling to find it and it doesn’t seem to be getting much attention… so far.

jffree1 on June 3, 2013 at 7:51 PM

They tried to get Colonel Jessup to ackonwledge he ordered the Code Red, but he just made an opening statement and then took the 5th.

malclave on June 3, 2013 at 7:53 PM

What did the PRESIDENT know and when did he know it?

Khun Joe on June 3, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Heh. He ordered it.

Key West Reader on June 3, 2013 at 7:50 PM

I don’t know if I quite believe that… he strikes me as more Henry II to the Tea Party’s Archbishop of Canterbury.

I get the impression that he really doesn’t know (or care) what’s really going on. Other people take care of things, and he just goes on vacation/ plays golf/ fundraises until he’s needed for a photo op or to pretend to be concerned about something.

malclave on June 3, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Try pulling an amnesia defense for not filing your tax returns and see where it gets you.

HiJack on June 3, 2013 at 6:06 PM

As Steve Martin would say, “I…forgot!”

gregbert on June 3, 2013 at 8:00 PM

right now they are more afraid of who ordered them then the gop house committee and the public.

we must change that equation.

reliapundit on June 3, 2013 at 8:04 PM

This is getting ridiculous. It would take an IT manager all but a few minutes to set up a search on their mail servers to pull up any and all emails sent or received with those very same “target words”.

Time to get those emails into the congressional record.

Of course this won’t catch all the “non-governmental” email accounts being used, but it’s a start.

can_con on June 3, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Any further investigation should address the internal e-mail system of the IRS. Unlike what I am typing now, if their systems allow for a complete erasure of the record, that needs to be disclosed (Nixon had to deal with a “gap” in the record. No “gap” if you can “zap”).

teejk on June 3, 2013 at 8:20 PM

“We did pose that question, and no one would acknowledge who, if anyone, provided that direction.”

Excuse me? The IG took “I’m not going to tell you” as an answer?

No wonder the WH loves the IG report.

“I don’t know, they don’t know, nobody knows nothin’…..fugetaboutit”

I want that IG on my case if I ever get audited:

“Did you fill out your return correctly and pay the tax you owed?”

“Yes”

“Super. Thanks for your time”

BobMbx on June 3, 2013 at 8:20 PM

What did the PRESIDENT know and when did he know it?

Khun Joe on June 3, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Heh. He ordered it.

Key West Reader on June 3, 2013 at 7:50 PM

…so why is everyone tiptoeing around that suggestion…that’s what bugs me…it was JugEars or our pal Val!

KOOLAID2 on June 3, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Obama: “You’re damn right I ordered the Code Red on those cracker tea baggers.”

BuckeyeSam on June 3, 2013 at 8:38 PM

Those documents, provided by an IRS employee who asked to remain anonymous, indicate that those being asked to provide computer data to investigators include the agency’s chief counsel, William J. Wilkins, and both of his deputies. The chief counsel is one of just two political appointments at the IRS made by the president.

J_Crater on June 3, 2013 at 8:39 PM

I’m sure there are ways to make them talk. Perhaps they will do so voluntarily after being scapegoated.

Philly on June 3, 2013 at 9:05 PM

I wonder if they have ever heard of water boarding and what they think of it…

petunia on June 3, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Wow! It seams that every day, rinos have to prove, they’re trying to cover for Dems! This is NOT “Rocket Science!” Read them their “Garrity Statement” and Be Done With This Farce!

As Long as these BACK STABBING rinos, keep stretching this out, they prove why their “Big rINO LIE”, comes straight from Hell!(What’s the “Big rINO LIE”, you ask?) The Lie that a rino is better than a Dem! rINOS provide political cover for Illegal Activity,Like TREASON & Oh, BTW, have you thanked the rinos for ObamaTaxCare, yet? It’s Long been time to dump the the DemocRAT Wing of the Republican Party!

#NOrinos2014

God Bless America!

paratisi on June 3, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Hey I wonder if Wikileaks would be interested in hosting any compromising IRS emails that happen to find their way out to them.

Yeah yeah OK, enough with the comedy routine.

Dirt McGirt on June 3, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Isn’t it amazing how hard it is to pressure people when they all know there are no consequences.

Even the GOP won’t push for actual accountability.

Free Indeed on June 3, 2013 at 11:21 PM

Obama: “You’re damn right I ordered the Code Red on those cracker tea baggers.”

BuckeyeSam on June 3, 2013 at 8:38 PM

HAHA, I truly laughed out loud when I read that in my best Jack inner voice.

Meople on June 3, 2013 at 11:54 PM

Of course they wouldn’t say. These are career employees. If they said who ordered the cases held forever, their lives would be made a living hell, no matter who got blamed. Even if the higher up who was responsible was fired the whistle blowers would take it in the neck from that supervisor’s friends and allies. They’d be transferred to the worse jobs in the worse locations and every single thing they’d do for the rest of their careers would be triple checked and critized. And they’d never be promoted ever again. And all the paper work needed to torpedo their careers would be 100 percent accurate. It would be seen too. Just try to realize what it would be like to work another five or ten years under dozens of superiors whose sole reason to live would be to make sure no one ever thought about cooperating with investigators ever again.

Fred 2 on June 4, 2013 at 12:05 AM

Just Name them . Name each and every IRS person considered a suspect or “person of interest”.

Then let them twist slowly, slowly in the wind until they realize their lives are actually a whole lot more f&cked by keeping Obama/Omerta silence than they are by turning on the Obamanoid thugs and tyrants.

IOW “Nice little wife and family you got there…I’d hate to see anything come along and destroy it”.

Then give them immunity and let them squeal. Then into the Witness Protection program they go.

fulldroolcup on June 4, 2013 at 1:28 AM

Thicker n thieves…

workingclass artist on June 4, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Then give them immunity and let them squeal. Then into the Witness Protection program they go.

fulldroolcup on June 4, 2013 at 1:28 AM

re-locate to Californistan…where they have to live & work under those taxes.

workingclass artist on June 4, 2013 at 8:22 AM

“We did pose that question, and no one would acknowledge who, if anyone, provided that direction.”

Then drag their sorry a$$es before congress, put them under oath and force them to either testify or take the fifth.

BacaDog on June 4, 2013 at 8:30 AM

We really have nothing to concern ourselves with, Eric Holder (PBUH) will tirelessly pursue the falsehoods and lies of the administration. He will find them, and then aid in their deletion. Big brother loves us, do not forget that.

/sarcasm

Don’t forget…Benghazi. It’s about Benghazi first, that’s where the treason resides. Benghazi should put Hillary in jail. IRS scandal is sucker bait.

Finally, when I’m audited for this post, I’ll just quote Steve Martin and say “I forgot.”

Jabez01 on June 4, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Then give them immunity and let them squeal. Then into the Witness Protection program they go.
fulldroolcup on June 4, 2013 at 1:28 AM

The FBI would turn over their new identities and addresses to the administration within 5 minutes. I don’t blame these people for being scared, they’ve seen first hand the vicious retribution precieved enemies of this administration suffer.

tommyboy on June 4, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Heh. He ordered it.

Key West Reader on June 3, 2013 at 7:50 PM

He didn’t order it personally. Some guy with the email address barry@soetoro.biz ordered it.

The Rogue Tomato on June 4, 2013 at 8:40 AM

I’ve said it before…we need a modern day “Deep Throat”…

PatriotRider on June 4, 2013 at 8:52 AM

The law should be that if a federal employee refuses to answer questions posed by congress or an IG regarding the employee’s scope of work, duties, or orders given to subordinates or received from superiors, the employee should automatically be considered to have voluntarily resigned his/her employment and be barred from future employment with the federal gov’t.

Same thing if caught lying to congress or the IG.

If federal agencies can avoid oversight and accountability simply by the refusal of all the partisan activists refusing to talk, then what control does congress or the voter really have over these institutions? There should be a price to pay for this, regardless of whether they did anything wrong, and that price should be their job and the prospect of ever working for the federal gov’t again.

Monkeytoe on June 4, 2013 at 9:02 AM

How does an Inspector General inspect something if they simply take “I’m not going to tell you” as an answer?

This was an “IG Report”? Really?

Forget the bloodied political noses, this goes to general accountability of the executive–not to mention the extra-Constitutional regulation authorities!

Axeman on June 4, 2013 at 9:02 AM

To emphasize: this goes to the general competence of the government!

And it’s ridiculous that if we find this out about the “IG Report” that Dems waved that and said “It’s been covered.”

“Yeah. It’s been covered. Page 382, right here … ‘subject refused to answer.’ See?! It’s right in there with the ‘N/A’s and the ‘Other – unspecified’s!”

Axeman on June 4, 2013 at 9:06 AM

I think our Czarina Valerie Jarret ordered her b1tc4 B Hussein to get’r done.

esnap on June 4, 2013 at 9:43 AM

‘During the Nixon administration, there were attempts to use the Internal Revenue Services in manners that might be comparable in terms of misusing it. I’m not saying the actions taken here are comparable.

This is unprecedented.’

– J Russell George, Inspector General of the Treasury

Resist We Much on June 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM

I’m to the understanding that the IG questioned these people with their supervisors in the same room. Tells me that the IG was not interested in finding anything out in the first place. In this administration we have seen numerous internal investigations and all of them are nothing but eyewash. If they do catch the culprit, that person is usually at the janitorial level.

savage24 on June 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Start taking away pensions. Watch memory improve.

MNHawk on June 4, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Lois Lerner Targeted Dick Durbin Senate Opponent
http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/060313-658636-lois-lerner-targeted-durbon-opponent-al-salvi.htm
Scandal: Before his 2010 letter urging the IRS to target conservatives, the Senate majority whip’s 1996 campaign benefited from the targeting of his opponent by a Federal Election Commission official with a familiar name.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the IRS scandal may have its roots in Illinois politics with the 1996 targeting of Illinois conservative Al Salvi by a familiar name, Lois Lerner, then head of the Enforcement Division of the Federal Elections Commission.

Colbyjack on June 4, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Are you kidding me! The IG should be fired for not doing his job!

Zcat on June 4, 2013 at 10:10 AM

I saw an ad for this on Fox News today:

Ted Cruz, abolish IRS (Petition)

Trouble is, it took lots of Googling to find it and it doesn’t seem to be getting much attention… so far.

jffree1 on June 3, 2013 at 7:51 PM

It’s not getting attention because signing the petition doesn’t get you anything besides mass mailings from political groups asking for money to run ads that are, at best, ineffective.

The Senate Conservatives Fund is just looking for marks to ask for donations. This is data mining and not a true “petition”, as are 99% of so-called “petitions” online in today’s world.

weaselyone on June 4, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Colbyjack on June 4, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Remarkable. It’s a long, winding, corrupt trail.

Expecting Durbin to call in his chits with RINO’s and this thing to die a quiet death.

“We can’t get anyone to talk” don’t ya know.

Carnac on June 4, 2013 at 10:29 AM

WTF… Isn’t political targeting against the law? Start putting people in jail and see how many of them turn into whistle blowers to get out… problem solved.

RedManBlueState on June 4, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Try water boarding.

TerryW on June 4, 2013 at 10:33 AM

This will be a very sad time for America if people involved in this abuse do not get jail time. This goes so against the fabric of what America stands for in democracy to other countries. This Obama Hussein admiistration is one very evil group!

karlinsync on June 4, 2013 at 10:37 AM

The IRS hearing is interesting – live on CSPAN or hit the link at the top of Fox homepage.

BacaDog on June 4, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Just presume that Obama gave the order until such a time as they’re willing to talk.

Sharke on June 4, 2013 at 11:33 AM

he’d been told once before who was responsible but … had since forgot.

“Obama” is such a common name, it’s difficult to remember.

The Rogue Tomato on June 4, 2013 at 12:10 PM

We need names leaked.

Just let it leak out that all these employees were conservative and you will have the names in a minute.

TerryW on June 4, 2013 at 12:24 PM

“We did pose that question, and no one would acknowledge who, if anyone, provided that direction.”

Maybe that’s because there was an IRS manager present during all the interviews and that manager just so happened to be directly in the chain of command that gave the directives to target conservative groups…

weaselyone on June 4, 2013 at 2:05 PM

IRS employees are getting audited by the IRS, and they have an option to refuse to answer. ARE YOU F**K**G KIDDING ME!

In one of my former lives, I was a payroll manager. I was audited annually by inside and outside auditors. I even got to participate in an IRS audit a couple of times. Never once did I ever think I had the option of refusing to answer a question put to me. Instead, I was damned certain that if I did, the first thing following my stupid butt out of the window of my 4th floor office, would be the personal contents of my desk.

How is it that these IRS employees are still IRS employees? We have to get rid of these union and the civil service rules that make it cheaper to promote than to fire.

WestTexasBirdDog on June 4, 2013 at 3:33 PM

I get the impression that he really doesn’t know (or care) what’s really going on. Other people take care of things, and he just goes on vacation/ plays golf/ fundraises until he’s needed for a photo op or to pretend to be concerned about something.

malclave on June 3, 2013 at 7:56 PM

He does know and he does care. He just doesn’t get his own hands dirty. He has placed thousands of his minions throughout the government, and they are intent on carrying out his wishes for DESTRUCTION.
If ‘journalists’ actually cared about the snake pit he has created and is presiding over, they would be digging to find hundreds more examples of where his machine is subverting the law and subverting the interests of this country.

maryo on June 4, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Republicans have it all wrong. If this was a Republican scandal, merely the fact that the IRS falls under the Executive Branch would be proof enough to say “it’s all Bush’s fault!” Time to take a page from their book. Accuse now, find facts later.

The Spear on June 4, 2013 at 10:40 PM

Comment pages: 1 2