IRS Scandal Bombshell

Discussion in 'Politics' started by pspr, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. pspr


    Despite Eric Holder's refusal to truly investigate and prosecute IRS abuses, the trail is leading up the chain of command and reaching to the Obama appointed IRS Chief Counsel. Can we now begin to spell out that word - W-A-T-E-R-G-A-T-E?

    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—such a big one that it managed to emerge in spite of an unfocused, frequently off-point congressional hearing in which some members seemed to have accidentally woken up in the middle of a committee room, some seemed unaware of the implications of what their investigators had uncovered, one pretended that the investigation should end if IRS workers couldn't say the president had personally called and told them to harass his foes, and one seemed to be holding a filibuster on Pakistan.

    Still, what landed was 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.
  2. BSAM


    I'd much prefer to spell this word: I-M-P-E-A-C-H-M-E-N-T.
  3. pspr


    From these spineless GOP leaders?
  4. BSAM


    Good point.
  5. jem


    from the article...

    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.

    In April 2010, Hull was assigned to scrutinize certain tea-party applications. He requested more information from the groups. After he received responses, he felt he knew enough to determine whether the applications should be approved or denied.

    But his recommendations were not carried out.

    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. And again, he is one of only two Obama political appointees in the IRS.

    What was the chief counsel's office looking for? The letter to Mr. Werfel says Mr. Hull's supervisor, Ronald Shoemaker, provided insight: The counsel's office wanted, in the words of the congressional committees, "information about the applicants' political activities leading up to the 2010 election." Mr. Shoemaker told investigators he didn't find that kind of question unreasonable, but he found the counsel's office to be "not very forthcoming": "We discussed it to some extent and they indicated that they wanted more development of possible political activity or political intervention right before the election period."

    It's almost as if—my words—the conservative organizations in question were, during two major election cycles, deliberately held in a holding pattern.
  6. TGregg


    The investigators are obviously a bunch of racists!
  7. pspr


    Where is piezeo? Has he run away now that his distorted facts and liberal bias reporting is being blown away?
  8. wjk


    If it was going to happen, it would have many times over. He won't be impeached. That would be RACIST! Just ask anyone on the left.
  9. Max E.

    Max E.

    He is waiting for MSNBC to come to a conclusion on this issue so he knows where he stands.
  10. piezoe


    We still don't know the answer to the most important question. Were the handful of applications from liberal and progressive political groups, received during the same election cycle, turned down or approved? If they were turned down, as all the applications should have been, then the question becomes why weren't the applications from right-wing groups not also turned down? If, on the other hand, the IRS approved the applications from progressive groups, but sent those from conservative groups on for additional scrutiny, then the IRS, as Ricky Ricardo would say, has some "spail'n" to do. In either case, it seems the investigation must go a bit further.

    I'll repeat what I have said before. One hundred percent of all these applications from suspect groups should have been summarily turned down. A letter should have been sent to them saying that once they filed their return, the IRS would, at that time, based on the return, make a determination of whether the applicant was primarily a social welfare organization and qualified for 501c(4) status. If the organization filed under 501c(4) but was not qualified under the rules, they would be liable for interest and penalty on any taxes owed. The burden of following the rules, should be on the organization, as with all other filers.

    The situation is no different than were any of us to file an incorrect return in which either honest mistakes were made, or we committed fraud. We would be charged penalty and interest, and if we filed a fraudulent return, we would be fined and possibly do jail time.

    The reason these unqualified organizations wanted to get a letter from the IRS pre-approving their 501c(4) status was so they could assure their donors that their names would not be revealed. However it was wrong for the IRS to put the agency in the position of making a 501c(4) determination on the basis of guesses, and what turned out to be false statements, from the applicants. The IRS's only responsibility was to provide the organizations with a copy of the rules.

    If the organizations saw to it that they followed the rules for 501c(4), they could assure their donors that their names would not be revealed, and there would be no adverse consequences. If they did not follow the rules, but nevertheless told their donors that their names would not be revealed, they should be treated the same as any other filer filing an incorrect or fraudulent return. That's how this should have been handled.

    Henceforth, the IRS should not pre-approve any organization for 501c(4) status.
    #10     Jul 19, 2013