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May 14, 2014

New Emails Establish IRS Was Pressured to Intrusively Examine Tea Party Groups by Democratic Senator Carl Levin; Targeting Was Directed Out of IRS' DC Headquarters

Just a few rogue operatives in Cincinnati.

The Internal Revenue Service managed a wide-ranging program that singled out tea party groups for special scrutiny from its headquarters in Washington, D.C., according to bombshell documents released Wednesday by a watchdog organization. Judicial Watch, a center-right group that specializes in Freedom Of Information Act document requests and lawsuits, said it received a cache of papers from the IRS showing the depth of the Obama administration's involvement in what officials have previously called the work of a few 'rogue agents' in Cincinnati, Ohio.

And letters from U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, show his involvement in pressing the IRS to target mostly conservative organizations with cumbersome questionnaires seemingly calculated to slow down their applications for tax-exempt status in the middle of an election year.

In one July 2010 email among IRS managers, a lawyer with the Exempt Organizations Technical unit in Washington wrote that his office was 'working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy.'

More on Carl Levin's role in all of this.

Levin, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ permanent subcommittee on investigations, wrote a March 30, 2012 letter to then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman discussing the “urgency” of the issue of possible political activity by nonprofit applicants. Levin asked if the IRS was sending out additional information requests to applicant groups and citing an IRS rejection letter to a conservative group as an example of how the IRS should be conducting its business.

A top IRS official replied that the agency could send out “individualized questions and requests.”

“Some entities claiming tax-exempt status as social welfare organizations under 26 U.S.C.&501(c)(4) appear to be engaged in political activities more appropriate for political organizations claiming tax-exempt status under 26 U.S.C.&527,” Sen. Levin wrote. “Because of the urgency of the issues involved in this matter, please provide the following information by April 20, 2012.”

Not a smidgen of corruption.

This email proves that the targeting was coming out of Washington, DC.

On July 6, 2012, former Director of the IRS Rulings and Agreements Division and current Manager of Exempt Organizations Guidance Holly Paz sent an email to IRS Attorney Steven Grodnitzky asking for an explanation of how tea party group applications were being handled. Grodnitzky responded by confirming the cases were being handled in Washington.

"EOT is working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. We are developing a few applications here in DC and providing copies of our development letters with the agent to use as examples in the development of their cases. Chip Hull [another lawyer in IRS headquarters] is working these cases in EOT and working with the agent in Cincy, so any communication should include him as well. Because the Tea party applications are the subject of an SCR [Sensitive Case Report], we cannot resolve any of the cases without coordinating with Rob," Grodnitzky wrote.

Per the Daily Mail (the first link in this post), that "Rob" is Rob Choi, "who was then in charge of IRS 'rulings and agreements' in the agency's Washington, D.C. headquarters." Which is not in fact in Cincinnati.


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posted by Ace at 06:39 PM

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