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April 09, 2014

Email: Lois Lerner Was Interested in Job at Organizing for America

Gee, I wonder if she'll wind up realizing her dream.


More at that @kerpen account, and more from Dave Camp.

I made a mistake earlier in claiming that the House Oversight Committee had referred Lerner to the DoJ for possible criminal investigation. It appears it was the Ways and Means Committee.

But here is the House Oversight Committee's report on the IRS scandal. (Footnotes and citations omitted; emphases added.)

On June 24, 2013, Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel asserted during a conference call with reporters that the IRS’s misconduct was broader than just conservative applicants. Werfel told reporters that “[t]here was a wide-ranging set of categories and cases that spanned a broad spectrum.” Although Mr. Werfel refused to discuss details about the “inappropriate criteria that was [sic] in use,” the IRS produced to Congress hundreds of pages of self-selected documents that supported his assertion. The IRS prioritized producing these documents over other material, producing them when the Committee had received less than 2,000 total pages of IRS material. Congressional Democrats had no qualms in putting these self-selected documents to use. Virtually simultaneous with Mr. Werfel’s conference call, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee trumpeted the assertion that the IRS targeted liberal groups similarly to conservative organizations.

However, the report says that this was false:

Democrats in Congress and the Administration argue that the IRS treated “progressive” groups in a manner similar to Tea Party applicants. Because the IRS BOLO list had an entry for "progressives,” Democrats allege that “progressive groups were singled out for scrutiny in the same manner as conservative groups,” and that “the progressive groups were targeted side by side with their tea party counterpart groups.”

Again, the evidence available to the Committee does not support these Democratic assertions. Rather, the evidence clearly shows that the IRS did not subject “progressive” groups to the same type of systematic scrutiny and delay as
conservative applicants. Perhaps the most significant difference between the IRS’s treatment of Tea Party applicants and “progressive” groups is reflected in the IRS BOLO lists. The Tea Party entry was located on the tab labeled, “Emerging Issues,” meaning that the IRS was actively screening for similar cases. The “progressive” entry, however, was located on a tab labeled “TAG historical,” meaning that the IRS interest in those cases was dormant. Cindy Thomas, the
manager of the IRS Cincinnati office, explained this difference during a transcribed interview with Committee staff.

She told the Committee that unlike the systematic scrutiny given to the conservative-oriented applications as a result of the BOLO, “progressive” cases were never automatically elevated to the Washington office as a whole. She testified:


Q Ms. Thomas, is this an example of the BOLO from looks like November
2010?

A I don’t know if it was from November of 2010, but –

Q This is an example of the BOLO, though?

A Yes.

Q Okay. And, ma’am, under what has been labeled as tab 2, TAG Historical?

A Yes.

***

Q Let’s turn to page 1354.

A Okay.

Q Do you see that, it says -- the entry says progressive?

A Yes.

Q This is under TAG Historical, is that right?

A Yes.

Q So this is an issue that hadn’t come up for a while, is that right?

A Right.


Q And it doesn’t note that these were referred anywhere, is that correct?
What happened with these cases?

A This would have been on our group as – because of – remember I was
saying it was consistency-type cases, so it’s not necessarily a potential
fraud or abuse or terrorist issue, but any cases that were dealing with these
types of issues would have been worked by our TAG group.

Q Okay. And were they worked any different from any other cases that
EO Determinations had?

A No. They would have just been worked consistently by one group of
agents.


Q Okay. And were they cases sent to Washington?

A I’m not – I don’t know.

Q Not that you are aware?

A I’m not aware of that.

Q As the head of the Cincinnati office you were never aware that these cases
were sent to Washington?

A There could be cases that are transferred to the Washington office according to, like, our [Internal Revenue Manual] section. I mean, there’s a lot of cases that are processed, and I don’t know what happens to every one of them.

Q Sure. But these cases identified as progressive as a whole were never sent to Washington?

A Not as a whole.



The difference in where the entries appeared in the BOLO list resulted in disparate treatment of Tea Party and “progressive” groups. Unlike the systematic scrutiny given to Tea Party applicants, “progressive” cases were never similarly scrutinized.

The House Ways and Means Committee, with statutory authority to review confidential taxpayer information, concluded that the IRS treated conservative tax-exempt applicants differently than “progressive” groups. The Ways and Means Committee’s review found that while the IRS approved only 45 percent of conservative applicants, it approved 100 percent of groups with “progressive” in their name.

Likewise, Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel testified before the Way and Means Committee:

Mr. REICHERT. Mr. Werfel, isn’t it true that 100 percent of tea party applications were flagged for extra scrutiny? Mr. WERFEL. I think that – yes. The framework from the BOLO. It’s my understanding, the way the process worked is if there’s “tea party” in the application it was automatically moved into -- into this area of further review, yes.

Mr. REICHERT. OK, and you – you know how many progressive groups
were flagged?

Mr. WERFEL. I do not have that number.

Mr. REICHERT. I do.

Mr. WERFEL. OK.

Mr. REICHERT. Our investigation shows that there were seven flagged. Do
you know how many were approved?

Mr. WERFEL. I do not have that number at my fingertips.

Mr. REICHERT. All of those applications were approved.



The IRS’s independent inspector general has repeatedly confirmed the Ways and Means Committee’s assessment. During the Oversight Committee’s July 2013 hearing, TIGTA J. Russell George told Members that “progressive” groups were not subjected to the same systematic treatment as Tea Party applicants. He testified:

With respect to the 298 cases that the IRS selected for political review, as of the
end of May 2012, three have the word “progressive” in the organization’s name;
another four were used—are used, “progress,” none of the 298 cases selected by
the IRS, as of May 2012, used the name “Occupy.”


Mr. George also informed Congress that at least 14 organizations with “progressive” in their name were not held up and scrutinized by the IRS. “In total,” Mr. George wrote, “30 percent of the organizations we identified with the words 'progress’ or ‘progressive’ in their names were process as potential political cases. In comparison, our audit found that 100 percent of the tax-exempt applications with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names were processed as potential political cases during the timeframe of our audit.”


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posted by Ace at 03:50 PM

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