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Thread: IRS officials in Washington were involved in targeting of conservative groups

  1. #1

    IRS officials in Washington were involved in targeting of conservative groups

    Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved with investigating 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.

    IRS employees in Cincinnati told conservatives seeking the status of “social welfare” groups that a task force in Washington was overseeing their applications, according to interviews with the activists.

    Lois G. Lerner, who oversees tax-exempt groups for the IRS, told reporters Friday that the “absolutely inappropriate” actions were undertaken by “front-line people” working in Cincinnati to target groups with “tea party,” “patriot” or “9/12” in their names.

    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 who sought to communicate with IRS headquarters about the delay in granting tax-exempt status to True the Vote.

    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.
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  3. #2
    She is also a member of the Humane Society,who give 1% of their tax exempt donations to animal shelters and are pretty much just a liberal lobbying group.

    Lois G. Lerner, the embattled Internal Revenue Service official who apologized for improperly scrutinizing the tax-exempt status of conservative nonprofit groups, is a member of the Humane Society of the United States, a liberal animal advocacy organization.

    Lerner — the suddenly infamous IRS Exempt Organizations Division director — “is an active member of the Humane Society of the United States where her efforts in performing pet rescues necessitated by the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes were widely acknowledged,” according to her biography.

    The HSUS has been accused of sending less than one percent of its funds to animal shelters, a charge that a spokesman in 2012 would not deny. According to IRS filings, the group took in $148,703,820 in revenue in 2010.

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  4. #3

    Just watch the Barry and the Criminals in the Justice Department protect their outted covert fraudsters.
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  5. #4

    Tea party groups get revenge against IRS as judge approves $3.5 million payout

    August 10, 2018

    Former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner testifies March 5, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Investigators said Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, they have recovered 32,000 emails related to the former IRS official at the heart of the agency’s tea party scandal. But they don’t know how many of them are new

    A judge late Wednesday signed off on the settlement between the IRS and hundreds of tea party groups, closing out the last major legal battle over what all sides now agree was unwarranted and illegal targeting for political purposes.

    The IRS agreed to pay $3.5 million to groups that were wronged by the intrusive inspections, and insists it’s made changes so that political targeting can’t occur in the future.

    A few issues are still being fought over in the courts — including whether former IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner will be allowed to forever shield her deposition explaining her behavior from public view, and whether the IRS should pay attorney fees — but this week’s decision closes out five years of litigation over the targeting itself.

    “It shows that when a government agency desires to target citizens based on their viewpoints, a price will be paid,” said Edward Greim, the lawyer who led the class action case in federal court in Cincinnati.

    The $3.5 million closely approximates the fines the IRS would have had to pay in damages for each intrusive scrutiny of tea party groups, had the agency been found in violation of the law. The money will be split with half going to the lawyers who argued the case and the other half to more than 100 tea party groups, which will get a cut of about $17,000 each.

    Judge Michael R. Barrett called the settlement “fair, reasonable and adequate.”

    The settlement doesn’t actually include an admission of wrongdoing by the IRS, though Mr. Greim and others said the payment is perhaps an even bigger mea culpa.

    “I’m not frankly aware of any other class action lawsuit against the IRS for anything where the IRS paid money,” Mark Meckler, who as president of Citizens for Self Governance funded the class action challenge, told The Washington Times when the settlement was submitted for final approval several weeks ago.

    Even with the settlement, however, Mr. Meckler told The Times that he still doesn’t think the IRS has improved and said he hasn’t seen any policy changes that would prevent a repeat.

    “I’m a hundred percent certain it could happen again,” he said.

    The IRS vehemently disputes that, pointing to former Commissioner John Koskinen’s assurances to Congress that targeting is a thing of the past.

    The IRS offered a “sincere apology” to tea party groups in a case filed in federal court in the District of Columbia and the government agreed to a declaratory judgment that “it is wrong” to scrutinize a tax return because of a taxpayer’s name or political philosophy.

    The targeting began in 2010 and by the time it was exposed — first when Mr. Lerner planted a question at a conference, hoping to shape the news, then in an inspector general’s report, followed by congressional investigations and the court cases — it encompassed more than 400 groups.

    When they applied for tax-exempt status they were met with extensive delays and intrusive questions that the government admits never should have been asked. One group, the Albuquerque Tea Party, battled eight years before winning its status.

    Most of the groups targeted were conservative, but the IRS did start adding in liberal groups as it became aware of criticism.

    “What we know is that this was not a mistake, and this was not an oversight or a lack of supervision,” Mr. Greim said.

    During the class action lawsuit settled this week, the tea party groups pried loose thousands of pages of documents giving the best look yet at the decision-making within the IRS. Mr. Greim said emails clearly showed Ms. Lerner being aware of the targeting in 2011 and, rather than stopping it, relabeling it and telling the auditors to keep at it.

    “She put in place new processes that guaranteed even more delay,” he said.

    Ms. Lerner has denied she encouraged the targeting, and a Justice Department review during the Obama administration not only cleared her, but called her one of the heroes of the saga, saying she tried to stop it.

    But her full defense of her actions remains hidden.

    After invoking her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent before Congress, she was deposed in the class action lawsuit, along with deputy Holly Paz. But nearly all of their testimony remains under seal because the two women say they fear death threats if the public sees what they said.

    They argue that since the case was settled, there’s no value to their testimony and it’s shouldn’t be part of the judicial record.

    “Returning Mss. Lerner and Paz to the media spotlight places them at risk, regardless of what they actually said in those depositions. The only way to keep this litigation from putting them in the media spotlight is to completely seal the depositions and summary judgment materials quoting them,” the women’s lawyers said in court filings.

    Judge Barrett has kept everything sealed for now, but is still weighing a final decision. He held a hearing Thursday on the matter.

    Ms. Lerner’s lawyers told the judge she received another threat just last week, according to Mr. Greim. But the nature of the threats is also still under seal.

    The Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper, the state of Ohio and Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, have all asked for the testimony to be unsealed.

    Mr. Greim said the Justice Department had signaled earlier that it, too, supported the move, seemed to have reversed itself in court on Thursday, when a federal lawyer said they have no position on the matter.

  6. #5
    This happened late Wednesday and the Washington Times is the only media covering this hmm.....
    I just want objectivity on this forum and will point out flawed sources or points of view at my leisure.

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  7. #6
    Peanuts , but if it was more it would just hurt the taxpayers , we really need to kill the income tax and abolish the IRS.
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  8. #7
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    Lois Lerner and Holly Paz were the henchwoman who get court documents sealed for fear of retaliation against them
    for leading the IRS criminal operation.

    IRS settles tea party cases for millions and an apology

    U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose agency led the legal defense of the IRS and the settlement talks, said Thursday that "there was no excuse for this conduct."
    He said that the practices were conducted "during the last Administration" and that steps had been taken to make sure it didn't happen again.

    "We hope that today's settlement makes clear that this abuse of power will not be tolerated," Sessions said in a statement.

    Those deposed included IRS officials Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, considered to be at the heart of the scandal.

    That testimony was sealed by U.S. District Court Judge Michael R. Barrett after a government request because of a fear of reprisals against the two women.

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