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.

The petty tyrant who serves the growing tyranny 0

The  directive to the tyrannical Internal Revenue “Service” to make it hard for conservative and pro-Israel organizations to get the tax-exempt status they apply for, came down from the White House? From Tyranny Central? So we assumed. And so it now seems.

This is from PJ Media, by Ed Driscoll:

Top IRS officials in Washington, D.C. planned and oversaw the agency’s improper targeting of conservative groups, according to the 72-year old retiring IRS lawyer who will testify Thursday before the House Oversight Committee,” the Daily Caller reports.

That’s today these revelations are promised us.

The Daily Caller goes on:

Retiring IRS lawyer Carter C. Hull implicated the IRS Chief Counsel’s office, headed by Obama appointee William J. Wilkins, and Lois Lerner, the embattled head of the IRS’ exempt organizations office, in the IRS targeting scandal and made clear that the targeting started in Washington, according to leaked interviews that Hull granted to the Oversight Committee in advance of Thursday’s hearing.

Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George will return to Republican chairman Darrell Issa’s committee Thursday along with two central characters in the IRS saga: Hull and Cincinnati-based IRS employee Elizabeth Hofacre, who previously gave Hull’s name to congressional investigators, fingering him as her Washington-based supervisor.

Hull is naming names.

“In April 2010, Mr. Hull was instructed to scrutinize certain Tea Party applications by one of his superiors in Washington. According to Mr. Hull, these applications were used as ‘test’ cases and assigned to him because of his expertise and because IRS leadership in Washington was ‘trying to find out how [the IRS] should approach these organizations, and how [the IRS] should handle them’ … According to Hull’s testimony, Ms. [Lois] Lerner … gave an atypical instruction that the Tea Party applications undergo special scrutiny that included an uncommon multi-layer review that involved a top advisor to Lerner as well as the Chief Counsel’s office,” according to Oversight Committee documents.

As Ace noted last week, “Lerner Embraces Theory That The Process Is The Punishment” — and does so quite publicly and cavalierly:

1 March, 2010 – IRS officials start targeting organizations with “tea party”, “patriot”, and “9-12;” in their names. …

17 November, 2011 – Lois Lerner, Director of Exempt Operations, tells Businessweek that receiving a thick questionnaire from the IRS is a “behavior changer.”

The “behavior”. In the eyes of this petty tyrant – a type of woman who in past times would have been a household termagant – a difference of opinion is “bad behavior”.

… Lois Lerner … embraces the notion that people can and should be punished and compelled into acting the way she prefers, not after Due Process has found them blameworthy, but before anyone even thinks to file charges.

She’s decided that the process itself can and should be a tool of state coercion. She doesn’t need a finding from a legal tribunal to impose burdens on freedoms and to compel what she considers “correct” behavior — she’ll serve as judge and jury herself, and impose the punishment of a “thick questionnaire” as a tool of “behavior change.”  …

And just as a reminder, in 2009 President Obama “joked” about siccing the IRS on his enemies.