In one sense, this can’t surprise anyone who’s ever dealt with entrenched bureaucracies, which are hardly known for their innovation. No one really believes for a moment that a few rogue agents just decided to band together to start targeting opponents of the current administration for extra scrutiny, delays, and harassment on their own. That argument flies in the face of common sense and common experience in bureaucratic stagnation.
Fox 19 in Cincinnati shows that the internal processes and organizational chart of the IRS makes it provably ridiculous as well:
When an application for tax exempt status comes into the IRS, agents have 270 days to work through that application. If the application is not processed within those 270 days it automatically triggers flags in the system. When that happens, individual agents are required to input a status update on that individual case once a month, every month until the case is resolved.
Keep in mind, at least 300 groups were targeted out of Cincinnati alone. Those applications spent anywhere from 18 months to nearly 3 years in the system and some still don’t have their non-profit status. 300 groups multiplied by at least 18 months for each group, means thousands of red flags would have been generated in the system.
So who in the chain of command would have received all these flags? The answer, according to the IRS directory, one woman in Cincinnati, Cindy Thomas, the Program Manager of the Tax Exempt Division. Because all six of our IRS workers have different individual and territory managers, Cindy Thomas is one manager they all have common.
Fox 19 then connects the dots to the flags:
It turns out Cindy Thomas’ name is one we have heard before. The independent journalism group ProPublica says in November of 2012 they had requested information on conservatives groups that had received non-profit status. Along with that information, the IRS released private information on nine conservative groups that had not yet been approved and personal information had not been redacted. The person who signed off on that release, Cindy Thomas.
How long before Congress subpoenas Thomas? Hopefully, not long at all.