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July 22, 2013

IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins, One of Only Two Politically-Appointed IRS Officials, Visited the White House for Seven Hours Before Changing the Criteria for Targeting Tea Party Organizations Two Days Later

He met with Obama (though I don't know if it was for seven hours). The next day, former IRS head Douglas Schulman met with Obama.

And the day after that, the criteria for targeting Tea Party groups changed.

The Obama appointee implicated in congressional testimony in the IRS targeting scandal met with President Obama in the White House two days before offering his colleagues a new set of advice on how to scrutinize tea party and conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, who was named in House Oversight testimony by retiring IRS agent Carter Hull as one of his supervisors in the improper targeting of conservative groups, met with Obama in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on April 23, 2012. Wilkins’ boss, then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, visited the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on April 24, 2012, according to White House visitor logs.

On April 25, 2012, Wilkins’ office sent the exempt organizations determinations unit “additional comments on the draft guidance” for approving or denying tea party tax-exempt applications, according to the IRS inspector general’s report.

The Blaze adds a cautionary note: White House visitor logs are not reliable guides to who actually showed up at the White House. They're for Secret Service purposes as far as clearing people to visit; some people are cleared and never show up. Others actually show up but never appear on the logs, as personal visits are apparently recorded in a separate system.

Still, this merits some questions, and it merits a response. Which the White House has refused to give -- it refused to give comment upon the matter when contacted about it by the Daily Caller.

Dick Morris and his partner has a column on William Wilkins-- asking if he's the G. Gordon Liddy of the IRS scandal.

Wilkins claims to know nothing about the Tea Party targeting -- but that is a lie, according to Carter Hull.

Carter Hull, recently retired after 48 years of service at the IRS, was the tax analyst in D.C. in charge of the Tea Party applications. Hull indicated that he was told by the top assistant to Lois Lerner (remember her? In May, she refused to testify and invoked her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent) that Wilkins's office had to review all of the tax-exemption applications from Tea Party groups that Hull was overseeing.

Hull noted that the one application he had actually approved was immediately routed to Wilkins's office for review. When Hull disagreed with the counsel’s office and Lerner about how the Tea Party cases should be handled, the files were taken away from him and transferred to a woman with only several months experience at the IRS.

In addition, lawyers from Wilkins' offices met with Lerner to discuss the targeting.

Former IRS lawyer Carter Hull told the House Oversight Committee on Thursday that Lerner attended an August 2011 meeting where she, Hull, and lawyers from the agency’s chief counsel’s office, among others, discussed the test cases.

Interestingly, the meeting between Obama and Wlikins occurred (per the logs) in the Rooselvelt Room. According to Dick Morris, during the Clinton years, the Roosevelt Room was one of a small number of rooms designated as permitted for political, rather than non-political, use. He says he doesn't know if the Roosevelt Room's traditional role as a place for politicking has continued.

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posted by Ace at 03:59 PM

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