Author Topic: Judicial Watch: New Documents Show IRS HQ Control of Tea Party Targeting  (Read 993 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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Judicial Watch: New Documents Show IRS HQ Control of Tea Party Targeting

MAY 14, 2014



Documents also Reveal Unusual Pressure from Key Democrat Senator to Target Conservatives

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released a new batch of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents revealing that its handling of Tea Party applications was directed out of the agency’s headquarters in Washington, DC.  The documents also show extensive pressure on the IRS by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) to shut down conservative-leaning tax-exempt organizations. The IRS’ emails by Lois Lerner detail her misleading explanations to investigators about the targeting of Tea Party organizations.

The documents came in response to an October 2013 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the agency refused to respond to four FOIA requests dating back to May 2013 (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)).

One key email string from July 2012 confirms that IRS Tea Party scrutiny was directed from Washington, DC. On July 6, 2010, Holly Paz (the former Director of the IRS Rulings and Agreements Division and current Manager of Exempt Organizations Guidance) asks IRS lawyer Steven Grodnitzky “to let Cindy and Sharon know how we have been handling Tea Party applications in the last few months.”  Cindy Thomas is the former director of the IRS Exempt Organizations office in Cincinnati and Sharon Camarillo was a Senior Manager in their Los Angeles office. Grodnitzky, a top lawyer in the Exempt Organization Technical unit (EOT) in Washington, DC, responds:

EOT is working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. We are developing a few applications here in DC and providing copies of our development letters with the agent to use as examples in the development of their cases. Chip Hull [another lawyer in IRS headquarters] is working these cases in EOT and working with the agent in Cincy, so any communication should include him as well. Because the Tea party applications are the subject of an SCR [Sensitive Case Report], we cannot resolve any of the cases without coordinating with Rob.

The reference to Rob is believed to be Rob Choi, then-Director of Rulings and Agreements in IRS’s Washington, DC, headquarters.

Another email string from February – March 2010 includes a message from a California EO Determinations manager discussing a Tea Party application “currently being held in the Screening group.” The manager urges, “Please let ‘Washington’ know about this potentially embarrassing political case involving a ‘Tea Party’ organization. Recent media attention to this type of organization indicates to me that this is a ‘high profile’ case.”  A co-worker responds: “I think sending it up here [DC] is a good idea given the potential for media interest.”  As with Ben Rhodes’ Benghazi-related talking points email, Judicial Watch obtained a more complete version of this IRS email chain than was provided to a congressional committee.

The Judicial Watch documents also contain email correspondence to internal IRS investigators from Lerner, dated April 2, 2013, that tries to explain the “Be on the Lookout” (BOLO) criteria used to select organizations for screening and scrutiny:

Because the BOLO only contained a brief reference to “Organizations involved with the Tea Party movement applying for exemption under 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4)” in June 2011, the EO Determinations manager asked the manager of the screening group, John Shafer [IRS Cincinnati field office manager], what criteria were being used to label cases as “tea party ” cases. (“Do the applications specify/state ‘ tea party’? If not, how do we know applicant is involved with the tea party movement?”) The screening group manager asked his employees how they were applying the BOLO’s short –hand reference to “tea party.” His employees responded that they were including organizations meeting any of the following criteria as falling within the BOLO’s reference to “tea party” organizations: “1. ‘Tea Party’, ‘Patriots’ or ’9/12 Project’ is referenced in the case file. 2. Issues include government spending, government debt and taxes. 3. Educate the public through advocacy/legislative activities to make America a better place to live. 4. Statements in the case file that are critical of the how the country is being run. . . “

So, we believe we have provided information that shows that no one in EO “developed” the criteria. Rather, staff used their own interpretations of the brief reference to “organizations involved with the Tea Party movement,” which was what was on the BOLO list.

Lerner omits that her office was “developing” the applications for all Tea Party groups.

The IRS documents also include a presentation entitled “Heightened Awareness Issues” with a red and orange “Alert” symbol identifying the “emerging issues” that trigger scrutiny for organizations seeking tax-exempt status. Page six of the presentation focuses on the Tea Party organizations due, in part, to the fact that these groups had become a “Relevant Subject in Today’s Media.”

A series of letters between Senator Levin (D-MI), chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations, and top IRS officials throughout 2012 discuss how to target conservative groups the senator claimed were “engaged in political activities.” In response to a Levin March 30 letter citing the “urgency of the issue,” then-Deputy Commissioner Steven Miller assured the senator that IRS regulations were flexible enough to allow IRS agents to “prepare individualized questions and requests” for select 501(c)(4) organizations.

The newly released IRS documents contain several letters and emails revealing an intense effort by Levin and IRS officials to determine what, if any, existing IRS policies could be used to revoke the nonprofit exemptions of active conservative groups and deny exemptions to new applicants. In a July 30, 2012, letter, Levin singles out 12 groups he wants investigated for “political activity.” Of the groups – which include the Club for Growth, Americans for Tax Reform, the 60 Plus Association, and the Susan B. Anthony List – only one, Priorities USA, is notably left-leaning.

As the 2012 presidential election drew nearer, Levin sent a series of letters to the IRS intensifying his campaign against predominantly conservative nonprofit groups:
•September 27, 2012: Levin asks for copies of the answers to IRS exemption application question 15 – a question about planned political expenditures – from four specific groups: Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, Priorities USA, Americans for Prosperity, and Patriot Majority USA.
•October 17, 2012: Miller informs Levin, “As discussed in our previous responses dated June 4, 2012, and August 24, 2012, the IRS cannot legally disclose whether the organizations on your list have applied for tax exemptions unless and until such application is approved.” Miller, however, then informs Levin that Americans for Prosperity and Patriot Majority have been approved, but the IRS has no records for Crossroads and Priorities USA.
•October 23, 2012: Levin writes to again express his dissatisfaction with the IRS handling of “social welfare” (501(c)(4) organizations insisting that IRS guidance “misinterprets the law” by allowing any political activity. He again demands an answer as to whether the four organizations he listed in his previous letter were primarily engaged in the promotion of social welfare.  He also seeks copies of tax exempt revocation letters sent due to c4 political activities, as well as statistics on how many c4s have been notified that they may be in violation due to political activities.

In perhaps the most revealing letter from the IRS to Levin, Miller on June 4, 2012, takes 16 pages to explain to the senator what IRS regulations and policies may and may not be used to evaluate political groups and assures him that the agency has considerable leeway in picking and choosing which groups would be subject to additional scrutiny:

There is no standard questionnaire used to obtain information about political activities. Although there is a template development letter that describes the general information on the case development process, the letter does not specify the information to be requested from any particular organization … Consequently, revenue agents prepare individualized questions and requests for documents relevant to the application. . .

A May 14, 2013, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report revealed that the IRS had singled out groups with conservative-sounding terms such as “patriot” and “Tea Party” in their titles when applying for tax-exempt status. The TIGTA probe determined that “Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status (e.g., lists of past and future donors).”  The illegal IRS reviews continued for more than 18 months and “delayed processing of targeted groups applications” preparing for the 2012 presidential election.

“These new documents show that officials in the IRS headquarters were responsible for the illegal delays of Tea Party applications,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “It is disturbing to see Lois Lerner mislead the IRS’ internal investigators about her office’s Tea Party targeting.  These documents also confirm the unprecedented pressure from congressional Democrats to go after President Obama’s political opponents.  The IRS scandal has now ensnared Congress.”

In mid-April, Judicial Watch released a batch of IRS documents (produced earlier in this litigation) revealing that Lerner had communicated with the Department of Justice about whether it was possible to criminally prosecute certain tax-exempt entities.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-new-documents-show-irs-hq-control-tea-party-targeting/







 
   
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 06:48:22 AM by rangerrebew »
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Offline IZZY ANN

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YUP, it's true ........OBAMA LIED AGAIN. :nono:


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWQ6UiEnDj0" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWQ6UiEnDj0</a>


Obama: Not 'even a smidgen of corruption' in IRS scandal

Offline massadvj

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Ho Hum.  OPapaDoc caught in more lies.  Who cares?  The NFL drafted its first openly gay player and we all got to watch him kiss his boyfriend on the national media!  Isn't it great?  We call it progress.
"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline Relic

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Ho Hum.  OPapaDoc caught in more lies.  Who cares?  The NFL drafted its first openly gay player and we all got to watch him kiss his boyfriend on the national media!  Isn't it great?  We call it progress.

Sometimes I hate being so negative, but I just can't ignore reality. My head spins at what we, collectively, find interesting and important.

Offline musiclady

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There is great danger in becoming completely complacent because this administration lies so much we have become numb.

I am praying that at some point we reach a critical mass and Americans rise up and say, "NO MORE!"
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!

Offline katzenjammer

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Sometimes I hate being so negative, but I just can't ignore reality. My head spins at what we, collectively, find interesting and important.

We've got two main problems on this front that have been building for quite some time:

1.  There is too large of a percentage of the population that is so completely distracted by the 24x7 multi-media entertainment machine that they have no idea that any of this stuff is even going on.
2.  And out of the remaining percentage of the population, there is too large of a percentage that sources their "awareness" and information from entities that inform them over and over: "A bunch of Republican lies...  crazy conspiracy theories......  pure political nonsense from desperate Republicans.....  downright hatred for the President by racist Republicans....."


If you subtract out those two groups, there are just not many people remaining.   :shrug:

Offline Relic

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If you subtract out those two groups, there are just not many people remaining.   :shrug:

I know. I am painfully aware. That's why I'm one of the ones that tries to reign in the euphoria over possibly crushing the Democrats in November. What we see isn't what that majority sees. Obviously that's true, because if the majority saw what we see, we'd be complaining about President Romney.

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YUP, it's true ........OBAMA LIED AGAIN. :nono:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWQ6UiEnDj0

Obama: Not 'even a smidgen of corruption' in IRS scandal


And it is also true that there is not a smidgen of corruption at the IRS! More like a boat load!
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire

Online Bigun

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I only know this; WE will never again be a truly FREE people for so long as we continue to abide the Marxist progressive income tax and the IRS!
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire

Offline katzenjammer

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There is great danger in becoming completely complacent because this administration lies so much we have become numb.

I am praying that at some point we reach a critical mass and Americans rise up and say, "NO MORE!"

You are correct.  I have to admit, for me, at this point in time ("because this administration lies so much"), I almost yawn when yet another revelation comes forth; there have just been so many, and absolutely nothing of substance has been done about it.

And I realize that this is actually a phenomenon that I've been experiencing for years.  For the better part of two decades I have watched myself go into this cycle: Learn/hear about some "shocking" truth that starts to bleed out a bit, get all exciting, thinking in my mind, "Great, this is going to be the thing that really wakes a lot of people up!!!" and then end up just getting discouraged as nothing ever comes of it.....  There is a limit as to how long a person can go through this cycle until more than a bit of jaded cynicism starts to creep in.   :shrug:

Offline katzenjammer

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I know. I am painfully aware. That's why I'm one of the ones that tries to reign in the euphoria over possibly crushing the Democrats in November. What we see isn't what that majority sees. Obviously that's true, because if the majority saw what we see, we'd be complaining about President Romney.

Yes, Relic.  I have basically gone into the default mode of not expecting anything, and waiting to, perhaps, be pleasantly surprised at some point!

Offline katzenjammer

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And it is also true that there is not a smidgen of corruption at the IRS! More like a boat load!

Amongst his many lingering problems is that he inserted the word "even" into his denial!!  lol

Offline katzenjammer

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I only know this; WE will never again be a truly FREE people for so long as we continue to abide the Marxist progressive income tax and the IRS!

There is MUCH Truth to that, Bigun; I fear there is TOO MUCH Truth there (i.e., that your sentiment is merely descriptive at this point, not prescriptive).

Online Bigun

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There is MUCH Truth to that, Bigun; I fear there is TOO MUCH Truth there (i.e., that your sentiment is merely descriptive at this point, not prescriptive).


Well Katz I can only respond to that by telling you that there is CURRENTLY a bill before both houses of Congress (HR25/S122) with MANY co-sponsors that would instantly fix the problem the day it is enacted into law! All that is lacking is suficient demand from us that it be done!

http://fairtax.org
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 10:17:00 AM by Bigun »
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire

Offline musiclady

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You are correct.  I have to admit, for me, at this point in time ("because this administration lies so much"), I almost yawn when yet another revelation comes forth; there have just been so many, and absolutely nothing of substance has been done about it.

And I realize that this is actually a phenomenon that I've been experiencing for years.  For the better part of two decades I have watched myself go into this cycle: Learn/hear about some "shocking" truth that starts to bleed out a bit, get all exciting, thinking in my mind, "Great, this is going to be the thing that really wakes a lot of people up!!!" and then end up just getting discouraged as nothing ever comes of it.....  There is a limit as to how long a person can go through this cycle until more than a bit of jaded cynicism starts to creep in.   :shrug:

For me it's not so much of a 'yawn' as it is the pessimism that there's not one blasted thing we can do about it.

The left controls the message, and as long as we are portrayed as some kind of violent, dangerous nutcases who are trashed at every turn, in the media, in popular culture, in Hollywood, on college campuses, in public schools, I get dangerously negative and pretty much want to give up on the country that I adored, in spite of its shortcomings, just a few short years ago.

Obama has sucked the life out of me.
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!

Offline Relic

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You are correct.  I have to admit, for me, at this point in time ("because this administration lies so much"), I almost yawn when yet another revelation comes forth; there have just been so many, and absolutely nothing of substance has been done about it.

And I realize that this is actually a phenomenon that I've been experiencing for years.  For the better part of two decades I have watched myself go into this cycle: Learn/hear about some "shocking" truth that starts to bleed out a bit, get all exciting, thinking in my mind, "Great, this is going to be the thing that really wakes a lot of people up!!!" and then end up just getting discouraged as nothing ever comes of it.....  There is a limit as to how long a person can go through this cycle until more than a bit of jaded cynicism starts to creep in.   :shrug:

That's why I dismiss almost anything that comes from the conservative echo chamber. Not because it isn't true, but because only the few will know of it. I don't watch Fox News for that reason. If it's not covered by the msm, it didn't happen.

Offline katzenjammer

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Well Katz I can only respond to that by telling you that there is CURRENTLY a bill before both houses of Congress (HR25/S122) with MANY co-sponsors that would instantly fix the problem the day it is enacted into law! All that is lacking is suficient demand from us that it be done!

http://fairtax.org


I know, Bigun, and I was just saying to someone the other day (yes, we were talking about you!  lol) that I truly admire your tireless energy and efforts to drive this point home in as many ways and places that you can!!   :patriot:

Offline katzenjammer

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For me it's not so much of a 'yawn' as it is the pessimism that there's not one blasted thing we can do about it.

The left controls the message, and as long as we are portrayed as some kind of violent, dangerous nutcases who are trashed at every turn, in the media, in popular culture, in Hollywood, on college campuses, in public schools, I get dangerously negative and pretty much want to give up on the country that I adored, in spite of its shortcomings, just a few short years ago.

Obama has sucked the life out of me.

All too true.  That is why it is vitally important for us to keep our "eyes on the prize," and never let this stuff steal that out of our hearts, even momentarily.

Offline katzenjammer

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That's why I dismiss almost anything that comes from the conservative echo chamber. Not because it isn't true, but because only the few will know of it. I don't watch Fox News for that reason. If it's not covered by the msm, it didn't happen.

LOL  You're not missing too much by avoiding FNC.  While they do cover stuff that isn't covered elsewhere, I see an "establishment" voice getting louder there over the years.  Their coverage of the things not covered elsewhere, is often sorely lacking.

Online Bigun

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That's why I dismiss almost anything that comes from the conservative echo chamber. Not because it isn't true, but because only the few will know of it. I don't watch Fox News for that reason. If it's not covered by the msm, it didn't happen.

Read this and then tell me again about how ready to quit you are!

Quote
Sugar Loaf Hill was a small, insignificant-looking mound, barely 50 feet high and about 300 yards long, situated on the southern end of Okinawa. It was part of a triangle of strongpoints set up by the Japanese defenders designed to delay and damage the attacking American forces. The other two points of the triangle were the higher terrain of Shuri Heights and an irregular-shaped set of hills that Marines called the Half Moon.

The Sixth Marine Division was given the task of taking the mound called Sugar Loaf, and it would prove costly. By the time the area was considered secure, 1,656 Marines would be dead and another 7,429 wounded. Regiments were reduced to com­pany strength, and companies to platoon size. Platoons and squads simply ceased to exist in some cases. It took 11 tries during a 12-day period and ate up most of three regiments before the hill was taken. Why this was so, and how the hill was eventually taken, is the subject of James Hallas’ World War II book, “Kill­ing Ground on Okinawa: The Battle for Sugar Loaf Hill.”

Hallas interviewed a number of survivors of the battles and coupled their recollections with unit official accounts to come up with a story that graphically and explicitly describes the horrors of the battles and the courage and sacrifices exhibited by the attacking Marines. This book is not for the faint of heart. When Hallas writes of the battles, he includes descriptions of horrific wounds suffered by the casualties that make even calloused gunnery sergeants cringe. In doing so, he is merely passing on the sights and smells of the assaults indelibly imprinted in the memories of those who survived, and who passed on their recollections to the author. These stories are what make the chapters come alive for the reader.

Leathernecks of Company G, 22d Marine Regiment were the first to bump heads with the mound, and the first to feel the heat of the interlocking fires. By the end of its struggle to take Sugar Loaf, “George” Co would be down to 24 men of its original complement. When it was relieved, more units were ordered into the fight and were consumed one by one. Many times, Marines reached the summit of the mound only to be driven off or killed by the murderous fire. Eventually, the realization sank in, that the mound was an interlocking system of caves and tunnels with the firing ports so cleverly disguised as to be virtually undetectable. The tanks being used to support the assaults often fell victim to mines, artillery and antitank fire. Those who got through were ineffective in taking out the bunkers because of the camouflage.

The Japanese were so entrenched that many Marines fought the battles without ever sighting the enemy. The frustration they felt is summed up in one chapter that describes a colonel shaking hands with the Marines who returned from one of the fights. One Marine refused to shake hands, saying: “I don’t deserve any commendation. I took the worst licking of my life and never even got one of them in my sights.”

The stories Hallas tells are ones of bravery and devotion to duty. When officers and noncommissioned officers fell, privates stepped up and assumed command. The killing ground leading up to Sugar Loaf was littered for days by the dead, and it was only after the battle that they could be recovered. The war ended shortly after Sugar Loaf and Okinawa were secured. For some of the survivors, it has never ended.

When it was over there were only 60 of those men still walking!
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire

Online Bigun

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I know, Bigun, and I was just saying to someone the other day (yes, we were talking about you!  lol) that I truly admire your tireless energy and efforts to drive this point home in as many ways and places that you can!!   :patriot:

Thank you Katz!

I will assure you of one thing! For as long as I am still sucking air I will NEVER EVER quit trying!
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire

Online Bigun

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Offline musiclady

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Thank you Katz!

I will assure you of one thing! For as long as I am still sucking air I will NEVER EVER quit trying!

Thanks for the infusion of courage, Bigun!   :patriot:
Character still matters.  It always matters.

May 3, 2016 - the day the Republican party left ME.  I am now without a Party, and quite possibly without a country.  May God have mercy!

Online Bigun

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Thanks for the infusion of courage, Bigun!   :patriot:

Can't help it!

It's part of my makeup!  :patriot:
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire


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