George Will says the IRS targeting scandal is one of the three biggest political scandals in the past years, on par with Watergate and Iran-Contra.
President Obama in his interview with Bill O'Reilly Not even a smidgen” of corruption,"
He adamantly rejected the suggestion that the IRS was used for political purposes by singling out Tea Party groups seeking tax exemption. “That’s not what happened,” he said. Rather, he said, IRS officials were confused about how to implement the law governing those kinds of tax-exempt groups.“There were some bone-headed decisions,” Obama conceded.
But when asked whether corruption, or mass corruption, was at play, he responded: “Not even mass corruption -- not even a smidgen of corruption.”
The Treasury Department and Lerner started devising the new rules “off-plan,” meaning that their plans would not be published on the public schedule. They planned the new rules in 2012, while the IRS targeting of conservative groups was in full swing, and not after the scandal broke in order to clarify regulations as the administration has suggested.
Investigators still haven't interviewed many conservative groups that were denied tax-exempt status while their liberal counterparts sailed through
Obama's IRS 'Confusion' New evidence undercuts White House claims about IRS motivation.
Mr. Camp added that everything his committee has discovered contradicts the White House argument that the IRS scandal was caused by legal "confusion." The current rules governing 501©(4)s have existed, unchanged, since 1959. Prior to 2010 the IRS processed and approved tax-exempt applications in fewer than three months with no apparent befuddlement.
The IRS hyper-scrutiny of conservative groups only began in 2010 amid the Obama Administration's larger political attack on political donors like the Koch brothers, and emails show that IRS officials were acutely aware of this political environment. In February 2010, for example, an IRS screener in Cincinnati flagged an application to his superiors noting: "Recent media attention to this type of organization indicates to me that this is a 'high profile' case."
From then on applications were routed through the offices of Mrs. Lerner and Obama-appointed IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, and long approval delays ensued. Extensive interviews and emails show that neither the initial Cincinnati interest, nor the subsequent Washington delay, was in any way driven by "confusion."
Taking the IRS Fifth If everything was kosher, why won't Lois Lerner talk to Congress?
The new head of the IRS has apologized to those who suffered because of the agency’s targeting of conservative groups, after he testified before a House subcommittee for the first time.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told reporters after the hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee that the singling out of such organizations for special scrutiny would be “intolerable,” and vowed the IRS is not doing so now.
“It won't happen going forward,” Koskinen said. “And to the extent that people suffered accordingly, I apologize for that.”
Embattled IRS plans employee bonuses for 2013 work to ‘boost morale’It’s hard to think of a group of people less deserving of bonuses than IRS employees. Frankly, this is outrageous,” said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.Posted by Jill Fallon at February 6, 2014 9:32 AM | TrackBack | Permalink