Inadvertent? Un-partisan? No direction from above?
Such were many of the early claims in response to the scandal over IRS’s targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
The characterization was not vindicated when Lois Lerner — who ran the agency’s division dealing with exempt organizations until she resigned in semi-disgrace —a sserted her Fifth Amendment rights rather than tell us what she knows. Sundry revelations since the scandal broke have further exploded the claim that lowly functionaries acted independently of high officials.
Now Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer for True the Vote, which combats voter fraud, is being vindicated in charges of collusion between Lerner and congressional Democrats.
“[T]he only difference between what happened in Watergate when Richard Nixon asked the IRS to go after his political enemies was when Richard Nixon asked, they refused,” according to Mitchell. “When these Democratic politicians said, ‘Go do something about these conservative groups because they’re challenging us. . . .’ the IRS [did] their bidding to try and silence these groups.”
Mitchell appeared on The Kelly File to discuss recently released IRS email implying coordination between Democrat Elijah Cummings of the House Oversight Committee (of “nothing to see here” fame) and the IRS. After applying for tax-exempt status, True the Vote received sets of nearly identical questions — on widely separate occasions — from both the IRS and Cummings. That’s not only collusion, it’s guileful sharing of taxpayer information that is supposed to remain confidential.
Disturbing, but not surprising.
This is Common Sense. This is Paul Jacob.