Issa directed Treasury inspector general to ignore IRS treatment of liberal groups
The bombshell IRS audit released in May omitted information about liberal groups at the request of House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s office.
A spokesman for Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George told The Hill on Tuesday that Issa had requested investigators “narrowly focus on tea party organizations.”
The subsequent audit concluded the IRS used “inappropriate criteria” to single out for additional scrutiny tea party groups that applied for tax exempt status. The findings lead almost every politician, including President Barack Obama, to denounce the IRS. Several Republicans suggested the audit indicated the White House had a Nixonian “enemies list.”
Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, Issa said the IRS appeared to have been targeting Obama’s political opponents “perhaps not on his request” but “on his behalf.”
But new documents have revealed that liberal and progressive groups received similar treatment from the IRS. The “inappropriate criteria” used to single out tea party groups — so-called “Be On the Look Out” (BOLO) memos — also singled out progressive and “Occupy” groups.
“We did not review the use, disposition, purpose or content of the other BOLOs. That was outside the scope of our audit,” the Treasury inspector general spokesman told The Hill.
The BOLO memos stated tax exempt status for progressive groups “may not be appropriate” because they were engaged in “anti-Republican” political activity. On the other hand, the BOLO memos only directed IRS employees to send tea party applications to a particular group. IRS officials have said the tea party applications were “centralized” to insure they received consistent treatment. Exactly how the BOLO memos were used remains unclear.
The report identified 298 groups that were subjected to additional scrutiny, and identified 98 of those groups as either tea party, patriot or 9/12 groups. The remaining 202 groups were labelled as “other.” During congressional hearings, George was repeatedly asked if these 202 “other” groups included liberal organizations. He said he couldn’t “make that determination” based on the available evidence. However, several liberal groups received the same level of IRS scrutiny as tea party groups.
The omitted information has caused Democrats to question whether the audit was truthful.
“Failing to make this clear in these documents and at Congressional Hearings even when asked directly has been fully misleading,” Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI) wrote in a letter to George on Wednesday. “It has contributed to the distortion of this entire investigation, including use of innuendo and totally unsubstantiated assertions of White House involvement.”
The Associated Press on Wednesday confirmed that liberal and progressive groups were subjected the same treatment that conservative groups had complained about, including excessive questioning and extremely long waits. The liberal group Catholics United, for instance, waited seven years before receiving tax exempt status, far longer than any tea party group was forced to wait.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s office has continued to defend its audit of the IRS. Karen Kraushaar told the Associated Press that the inspector general was only “asked to look at the treatment of organizations known to be affiliated with the tea party in its review, and was asked to audit the way those organizations were being treated when they applied for tax-exempt status.”
Kraushaar implied information regarding liberal and progressive groups was omitted simply because of the narrow scope of the audit.
House Republicans have denied they attempted to limit the audit of the IRS. They acknowledged they requested the audit based off complaints they received from tea party groups, but that should not have prevented investigators from mentioning the impact on other effected groups. A Republican aide told The Hill that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration had “the authority to look at whatever they wanted to, and would be expected to do so if there was wrongdoing.”
Issa had previously released excerpts from a congressional investigation that purportedly proved the “targeting of conservative political groups came from Washington, D.C.” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) later released the full transcripts to show there was no evidence the Obama administration was involved.
The man is a pig.
Duh. And this is why Democrats, "progressives" and the real "liberal media" (MSNBC, Sirius/XM Left, Propublica, etc. ) piss me the fuck off. They were so quick to join Republicans in slamming Obama they didn't even think of the obvious followup to Issa's accusation: "OK, but did the IRS also audit NON-Tea Party organizations?"
Which was the question even my 86-year-old dad asked right off.
Craven, lazy, STUPID assholes. And that includes you, Rachel Maddow.
Thank you, r3. The minute the media can show it's "fair cred" by slamming the Dems with the Republicans encouragement, they do so, without seriously considering the proof. If there's a complaint that the Dems did something abjectly unfair, they are on it. The fact that the complaint may be completely unfounded doesn't deter them as it is their chance to prove how objective they are.
Issa is an asswipe.
Issa is a scumbag from way back when he was just a used car salesmen.
So dirty in fact he was implicated in an Arson investigation with some bad dealings but never charged. Who ups their insurance pay out 400% three weeks before it burns down?
He started the recall of California governor with 1.6 million dollar slur campaign. He whipped people up into a frenzy. He wanted to be the replacement but at the last minute another Republican stepped up and stole the spotlight....Arnold Schwarzenegger. He cried like a baby when he lost too.
He is known as Mr. Grand theft Auto. He was arrested for stealing a Maserati from a Cleveland car dealership, but later walked.
Arrested twice for weapons charges with a gun and convicted once but got probation and 100 dollar fine.
I could go on, but this guy was a total scum bag before he even made it into congress.
Republicans like him because he takes playing dirty to a whole new level. Anything to bring down Obama.
Any bets on whether this story gets any play in the MSM?
So will this ever come out in media actually see? No offense to Raw Story or anything, but the only people who actually read it are the choir that wants to be preached to (much like Free Republic). Will the NYT pick this up? CNN? Anyone?
Duh, never mind. Just read the whole thing. I just wish the MSM would fucking get on this and push it out there like they did the initial story.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, I have paid good money to media consultants to cast doubt upon your expressions.
Why just Google my and and see, the first page of links are all about how I have been unfairly accused by the media. Since when has joy riding been a crime? I didn't know the gun was loaded and fires happen.
It's OK if you're a Republican.
The media outside of where Issa came from just don't get it. He really dose have a criminal past and they blew most of it off in the beginning because it seemed like no one with that kind of past could really get elected to office. As just typical opposition attacks.
They are just now starting to see his underside. Yes, he is a criminal and now law maker.
A little late to the party media whores, now do your job and dig deep past his PR. There is a Paper Chase in there if you look hard enough.
When will this evil organization be stopped?
Issa must have the same guardian angel Chris Christie has.
Libertarian jackass bumping old threads.
Government fighting the government is always awesome. The less time they have to harass us.
The destruction of Lois Lerner's hard drive is blood in the water for Republicans. Buy more popcorn.
Walter Olson reports:
Some highlights since the email story broke last Friday:
* According to Strassel’s column today, the contents of Lois Lerner’s hard drive were wiped out by forces unknown “about 10 days after the Camp letter arrived,” that is to say, a letter from House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp inquiring into targeting of conservative groups. (Lerner then replied to Camp denying targeting and subsequently pleaded the Fifth before Congress.)
* A WSJ editorial this morning points out the remarkable timing of the IRS’s begrudging disclosure last Friday that evidence central to the case has been destroyed: more than a year after the investigation began and only when a deadline was impending in which the IRS commissioner would have to certify personally that the agency had produced to Congress all relevant communications. Were responsible agency officials determined to treat this as a high-priority investigation, to be carried on in good faith and with all deliberate speed? (There was no doubt about the seriousness of the scandal, as President Obama himself admitted—or seemed to be admitting—at the time.)
Or did they instead stall and deflect until the very last moment? So un-forthcoming was the agency that, according to today’s Journal editorial, IRS staffers met with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) Monday and did not tell him that the external emails of six other IRS employees had gone missing too—he found that out only later in the week when he read a press release from the House side.
Of course, ALL government agencies act to protect their territories, it is not only the IRS. It is the nature of the evil government beast. There are plenty of hidden and distorted actions conducted by government employees across government. The current IRS hard drive scandal should be seen as exposure of one of the problems with government in general and not an isolated incident of a few bad actors. Government is about bad actors, The higher someone is in government, the worse they are. Hayek wasn't kidding when he titled a chapter in The Road to Serfdom, "Why The Wost Get On Top."
To understand the latest outrage in the IRS scandal, mull over what might happen if regulators found significant evidence to implicate Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein in an insider trading scheme.
Let’s say Blankfein asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to answer any questions. Say Goldman was subpoenaed to provide all of Blankfein’s emails. Goldman replied that, instead of complying with the subpoena, it was itself reviewing the emails in question and was considering which ones to release.
Now imagine that, nearly a year later, Goldman admitted that it had not, in fact, reviewed the emails in question, because they had been lost in a computer crash two months before it claimed to be reviewing them. Imagine Goldman also said copies of the emails were lost, because while under subpoena, it had destroyed the “backup tapes” (whatever those are) that held them and that it had also thrown away Blankfein’s actual hard drive.
The thing about dogs eating homework is, it could actually happen. This can’t.
This is “The dog ate my hard drive, broke into another building, ate the backup of the hard drive, then broke into six other top officials’ offices and ate their hard drives also.”
What we learned about the IRS this week is that there is an obvious criminal coverup that comes in addition to the possible underlying crimes. Prosecutions need to be brought against all of those involved.
Why isn’t this happening already?
Remember the O.J. Simpson trial, the one that consumed seemingly the entire mid-’90s? From crime to verdict, the whole thing took 16 months.
The IRS scandal? It’s already been 13 months, and no one has even been charged. And no one will be charged. Congress has called the cops — the Justice Department — and the cops simply don’t care.
It’s as if Goldman’s only regulator was an SEC that was being run by Blankfein’s poker buddies.
Yes, the IRS scandal differs from Watergate. In Watergate, the president appointed an independent-minded special prosecutor to investigate. It was considered a scandal when the president fired that special counsel, Archibald Cox, even though Cox was succeeded within less than two weeks by an equally ferocious prosecutor, Leon Jaworski.
President Obama? He hasn’t even appointed a special prosecutor in the first place. That’s far worse.
In Watergate, we were outraged that President Richard Nixon ordered the IRS to go after political foes — even though the IRS refused to do his bidding. A Nixon ally was forced to whine that the IRS was controlled by Democrats.
There was evidently little or no evidence that IRS power was abused, because the second Article of Impeachment against Nixon charged merely that he “endeavored” to sic the IRS on enemies.
In the Obama administration, on the other hand, we know that the IRS went after political foes. We don’t know whether the president was involved, but if Nixon’s IRS had targeted liberals because it believed it had an implicit go-ahead from the boss, wouldn’t that be fairly disturbing also? Would a breezy dismissal from Nixon make you feel better?
Obama’s assertion that there was “not even a smidgeon of corruption” in the IRS’ attacks on right-wing groups does not reassure. Obama cannot have known there was no corruption given the mountain of evidence that has yet to be produced and now appears to have been destroyed. He could believe there was no corruption because he has faith in everyone who works under him, or he could know there was corruption and be lying about it, but he can’t know there was no corruption. It’s impossible.
For all he knows, there’s a Lois Lerner email that says, “I want you to go after these Tea Party bastards with everything you got. Use every trick you can to keep them on the sidelines for this election cycle. Nuke those fascists.”
Lerner wouldn’t have pleaded the Fifth unless she had reason to believe that there was potential illegality and it could be tied to her.
A likely explanation for Obama’s bizarre “smidgeon” remark is that his well-known fondness for left-wing opinion writers led him to simply parrot their dismissal of the scandal: If it’s good enough for Jonathan Chait, our president thinks, it’s good enough for me!
And here we come to a third major difference between the IRS’ apparent gross abuse of power and criminal coverup and Watergate: Watergate was a much bigger deal simply because the press was relentless about following up on every detail.
Today the media’s reasoning is roughly as follows: The IRS went after some conservative groups and is engaged in an illegal coverup. We also don’t like these groups, also believe they deserve special scrutiny, and also think there’s something inherently shady about conservatives (but not liberals) who try to buy political influence. If White House staff says they weren’t involved, we’ll take their word for it. Pardon us if we’d rather cover something more relevant to American lives today. Like the 82-year-old name of the football team that plays in DC.
One failed hard drive? Ok.
Seven failed discs from expensive and new computers just ten days after a letter from Congress tells them they are under investigation for possibly targeting political opponents...bullshit.
Impeach sleaze bag, criminal Issa. Fucker should be disqualified and jailed.
i could care less about this "scandal" because the person spearheading the investigation is a known thief, arsonist and conman, who has during his tenure on teh house oversight committee has invented 'scandal" after "scandal" to waste the taxpayers money in a partisan disinformation campaign.
he shouldn't be in office, he should be in jail.
He beats his wife too.
IRS Lerner sought audit of GOP senator - AP
The emails show former IRS official Lois Lerner mistakenly received an invitation to an event that was meant to go to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
The event organizer apparently offered to pay for Grassley's wife to attend the event. In an email to another IRS official, Lerner suggests referring the matter for an audit, saying it might be inappropriate for the group to pay for his wife.
"Perhaps we should refer to exam?" Lerner wrote.
The other IRS official, Matthew Giuliano, waved her off, saying an audit would be premature because Grassley hadn't even accepted the invitation.
"It would be Grassley who would need to report the income," Giuliano said.
So she suggested an audit for an invitation that had not even been accepted and ahead of the senator filing a tax return
I love internal government battles.
Reps. Bill Flores (R-Tex.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) introduced legislation this week to offer a reward of $1 million to anyone who can uncover the "lost" IRS emails of Lois Lerner (A Summary of the IRS Email Scandal To-Date).
Get this: The reward money would be taken out of the IRS budget.
The legislation is somewhat tongue and cheek, but the idea of immediate rewards from the budgets of government agencies for whistleblowers within agencies is an idea I highly endorse.
The more turmoil that can be caused within government agencies, the less time they have to harass us.
[quote]The more turmoil that can be caused within government agencies, the less time they have to harass us.
Translation: I fled the US because I didn't pay taxes for 20 years. Gummint is evil!
I just did a TROLLDAR and it looks like you have no idea what libertarian means.
You've posted "libertarians are stoopid and they sux" on many threads, so you obviously have a better way, or some specific failures of libertarianism.
So, please, in a short paragraph explain the basic tenets of libertarian thought. Please?
This may be Obama's Watergate. I hope not.
Reagan, Bush1, Clinton, Bush2 and now Obama have committed war crimes that make Nixon look like Mother Theresa.
The supine Congress and the powerless Judiciary make any real impeachment a sideshow. The real Powers That Be will only allow an impeachment if it fits their agenda.
Why are we allowing the congress to ignore this?
Oh, that's right- insider trading is a "benefit" of government "service".
You can make millions by hiding behind government immunity, but GOD FORBID a mundane citizen try to trade on insider info.
Fuck congress. Elected thugs protected by thugs with badges.
[quote]Why are we allowing the congress to ignore this?
Because it's hysterical self-generated bullshit. Next stupid question?
[quote]Fuck congress. Elected thugs protected by thugs with badges.
Says the idiot demanding an investigation on fake bullshit.
I wish I felt sorry for you- realizing how evil and corrupt your government is can be traumatic.
If you had not worshipped that government, maybe you wouldn't hate yourself so much.
[bold]The liberatarian idiot wants spam, spam he'll get![/bold]
Man: Well, what've you got?
Waitress: Well, there's egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam;
Vikings: Spam spam spam spam...
Waitress: ...spam spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam...
Vikings: Spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!
Waitress: ...or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam.
Wife: Have you got anything without spam?
Waitress: Well, there's spam egg sausage and spam, that's not got much spam in it.
Wife: I don't want ANY spam!
Man: Why can't she have egg bacon spam and sausage?
Wife: THAT'S got spam in it!
Man: Hasn't got as much spam in it as spam egg sausage and spam, has it?
Vikings: Spam spam spam spam... (Crescendo through next few lines...)
Wife: Could you do the egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam then?
Wife: What do you mean 'Urgghh'? I don't like spam!
Vikings: Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
Waitress: Shut up!
Vikings: Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
Waitress: Shut up! (Vikings stop) Bloody Vikings! You can't have egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam.
Wife: I don't like spam!
Man: Sshh, dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your spam. I love it. I'm having spam spam spam spam spam spam spam beaked beans spam spam spam and spam!
Vikings: Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
Waitress: Shut up!! Baked beans are off.
Man: Well could I have her spam instead of the baked beans then?
Waitress: You mean spam spam spam spam spam spam... (but it is too late and the Vikings drown her words)
Vikings: (Singing elaborately...) Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam! Spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam. Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Spam spam spam spam!
R35 - libertarian moron.
Hey there, R34, you are looking good tonight.
(voice over) Number ninety-seven: a radio.
voice on radio: And now the BBC is proud to present a brand new radio drama series: The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Part One: The Beginning.
man's voice: Yoo arrr Mary, Queen of Scots?
woman's voice: I am!
(sound of violent blows being dealt, things being smashed, awful crunching noises, bones being broken, and other bodily harm being inflicted. All of this accompanied by screaming from the woman.)
(music fades up and out)
voice: Stay tuned for part two of the Radio Four Production of "The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots", coming up...almost immediately.
(sound of saw cutting, and other violent sounds as before, with the woman screaming. Suddenly it is silent.)
man's voice: I think she's dead.
woman's voice: No I'm not!
(sounds of physical harm and screaming start again.)
(music fades up and out)
voice: that was episode two of "The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots", specially adapted for radio by Gracie Fields and Joe Frazier. And now, Radio Four will explode.
the radio explodes.
Two old women are sitting on the couch listening to the radio when it
explodes. One looks at the other:
1: We'll have to watch the Telly-vision!
(they turn the couch so it's facing the television. One turns the television on, and they sit down. There is a small penguin sitting on top of the television set.)
1 & 2: (singing, mumbled) hhmhmhmhmh... mhmmhmh mhmhm hhmhmmhm mhmhmmhmhmh
1: What's that on top of the telly-vision set?
2: (matter-of-factly) Looks like a penguin.
1: What's it doin' there?
2: It's sittin'.
1: I can see that! I meant, why's it there?
2: (pause) I don't know.
1: Where'd it come from?
2: Well, it must have come from the zoo.
1: It can't have come from the zoo! If it had come from the zoo it would have "Property of the Zoo" stamped on it!
2: They don't stamp animals "Property of the Zoo"!!! You can't stamp a huge lion!!
1: (resolute) They stamp them when they're small.
2: Besides, penguins don't come from the zoo! they come from the antartic!
(the television warms up: a man is sitting behind a news desk)
man: And now the penguin on top of your television set will explode.
(the penguin explodes)
1: 'Ow did 'e know that was going to happen?!
man: it was an educated guess. And now:
voice over: Number ninety-eight: the nape of the neck.