This low dishonest administration 2

As was promised (see the post immediately below), yesterday Congress heard the IRS lawyer Carter Hull reveal that William Wilkins, head of the IRS chief counsel’s office, launched the policy of keeping Tea Party groups from acquiring tax-exempt status, and so keeping them from functioning.

What more of William Wilkins? He is an Obama appointee, and is known to have attended numerous meetings at the White House. He and Lois Lerner, head of the IRS office that deals with tax-exempt applications, worked the plot, the skulduggery, against the conservative Tea Party movement.

The Tea Party’s cause is chiefly fiscal responsibility. It is the most effective opposition to redistributive socialism in America, and would have been even more effective – perhaps to the extent of  tipping the balance against Obama in the 2012 election –  had it not been  sabotaged by a government department.

Now we know: the campaign of sabotage by the IRS was started in Washington, D.C. and directed from Washington, D.C.

Peggy Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal:

The IRS scandal was connected this week not just to the Washington office — that had been established — but to the office of the chief counsel.

That is a bombshell …  And Democrats know it. Which is why they are so desperate to make the investigation go away. They know, as Republicans do, that the chief counsel of the IRS is one of only two Obama political appointees in the entire agency.

To quickly review why the new information, which came most succinctly in a nine-page congressional letter to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, is big news:

When the scandal broke two months ago, in May, IRS leadership in Washington claimed the harassment of tea-party and other conservative groups requesting tax-exempt status was confined to the Cincinnati office, where a few rogue workers bungled the application process.

Lois Lerner, then the head of the exempt organizations unit in Washington, said “line people in Cincinnati” did work that was “not so fine.” They asked questions that “weren’t really necessary,” she claimed, and operated without “the appropriate level of sensitivity.” But the targeting was “not intentional.” Ousted acting commissioner Steven Miller also put it off on “people in Cincinnati.” They provided “horrible customer service.”

They were lying. And they really seemed to think they’d get away with their lies.

House investigators soon talked to workers in the Cincinnati office, who said everything they did came from Washington.

Elizabeth Hofacre, in charge of processing tea-party applications in Cincinnati, told investigators that her work was overseen and directed by a lawyer in the IRS Washington office named Carter Hull.

Now comes Mr. Hull’s testimony. And like Ms. Hofacre, he pointed his finger upward. Mr. Hull — a 48-year IRS veteran and an expert on tax exemption law — told investigators that tea-party applications under his review were sent upstairs within the Washington office, at the direction of Lois Lerner. …

Michael Seto, head of Mr. Hull’s unit, also spoke to investigators. He told them Lois Lerner made an unusual decision: Tea-party applications would undergo additional scrutiny — a multilayered review.

Mr. Hull told House investigators that at some point in the winter of 2010-11, Ms. Lerner’s senior adviser, whose name is withheld in the publicly released partial interview transcript, told him the applications would require further review:

Q: Did [the senior adviser to Ms. Lerner] indicate to you whether she agreed with your recommendations?

A: She did not say whether she agreed or not. She said it should go to chief counsel.

Q: The IRS chief counsel?

A: The IRS chief counsel.

The IRS chief counsel is named William Wilkins  one of only two Obama political appointees in the IRS.

What was the chief counsel’s office looking for? …  The counsel’s office wanted, in the words of the congressional committees, “information about the applicants’ political activities leading up to the 2010 election.”

It’s almost as if … the conservative organizations in question were, during two major election cycles, deliberately held in a holding pattern.

Almost as if? They were “held in a holding pattern”.

So: What the IRS originally claimed was a rogue operation now reaches up not only to the Washington office, but into the office of the IRS chief counsel himself.

These findings were confirmed at the House Oversight Committee Hearings yesterday, and other “big things still got said”, as Peggy Noonan puts it.

Ms. Hofacre of the Cincinnati office testified that when she was given tea-party applications, she had to kick them upstairs. When she was given non-tea-party applications, they were sent on for normal treatment. Was she told to send liberal or progressive groups for special scrutiny? No, she did not scrutinize the applications of liberal or progressive groups. “I would send those to general inventory.” Who got extra scrutiny? “They were all tea-party and patriot cases.” …

Rep. Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican … [described] what he called “the evolution of the defense” since the scandal began. First, Ms. Lerner planted a question at a conference. Then she said the Cincinnati office did it — a narrative that was advanced by the president’s spokesman, Jay Carney. Then came the suggestion the IRS was too badly managed to pull off a sophisticated conspiracy. Then the charge that liberal groups were targeted too — “we did it against both ends of the political spectrum.”

But that was also untrue.

… [T]he inspector general of the IRS said no, it was conservative groups that were targeted. …

So there it is in all its shabbiness – this low dishonest administration.

  • Kerry

    Frankly while I find this despicable, I am distressed to my core about this “most transparent administration in the history of America.” It has been one of deceit, obfuscation, misleading, sleight-of-hand, lies, and temporary amnesia. No one in authority seems to know anything about any controversial subject matter. I have never in my life seen such utter incompetence, or rather, a total cavalier and indignant attitude toward the people.

    America has become a nation of partisan fans, much like the football community. We cheer our side regardless of the infractions, because the goal is to WIN at any costs. Large screens can show in no uncertain terms a clip perpetuated by our team and rather then accept that reality and the penalty, we scream at the referees. I have been in Europe during a competitive football (soccer) match with the ensuing riots at the final outcome. If that is the best we can hope for in America, then we are now beyond hope.

    I remember fondly the days of Reagan and Tip O’Neill…or even Clinton and Gingrich…who understood the time-tested principle of compromise for the good of the people. At the end of the day, we are all Americans who play on the same team. We should be in a scrimmage, refining our skills and tactics, but we should not be cheering on serious infractions, and lawlessness. We ought rather to acknowledge our differences in approach, discuss those on the chalk board, revise new approaches, test those theories, and discard the plays that clearly cause harm and distrust.

    • liz

      The problem with that is, the “large screens” in this case – the mainstream media – never show the infractions. They serve the revolutionary cause faithfully, only showing what fits the narrative and furthers the agenda.
      That way anyone who points fingers at Obama’s IRS appointees can conveniently be labeled a fringe kook conspiracy theorist, like McCarthy supposedly was. And those promoting “rallies” against evil American “racism” can be praised as heroic patriots.