New documents obtained and released through a Judicial Watch lawsuit show the targeting of tea party and conservative groups came directly out of Washington D.C., not a rogue IRS office in Cincinnati.
On July 6, 2012, former Director of the IRS Rulings and Agreements Division and current Manager of Exempt Organizations Guidance Holly Paz sent an email to IRS Attorney Steven Grodnitzky asking for an explanation of how tea party group applications were being handled. Grodnitzky responded by confirming the cases were being handled in Washington.
“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,” Grodnitzky wrote.
When the IRS targeting scandal broke last year, officials in Washington immediately pinned the blame on the Cincinnati office. This documentation proves not only that direction was coming out of Washington, but that Washington instructed Cincinnati about how to handle tea party applications.
A new email from Lois Lerner also details how BOLO lists (be on the look out) were specifically created for tea party groups or groups with issues related to government spending, debt, taxes and “how the country is being run.”
Further, documents show the IRS responded to “intense” requests from Democrat Senator Carl Levin to come down on conservative tax exempt groups in an effort to get rid of them, specifically the groups working against his reelection campaign.
Emails released by Judicial Watch last month show former head of taxpayer groups Lois Lerner was in contact with the Department of Justice about the potential criminal prosecution of conservative groups. In her emails about DOJ, Lerner noted that putting one person from a conservative organization in jail would create and example and “shut the whole thing down.”
When it comes to abuse of power it doesn’t get much more egregious than this. You can see why Lois Lerner took the Fifth. And yet the Democrats keep trying to insist that this is just a made-up scandal.
Calling this “Nixonian” is unfair to Richard Nixon.
Watergate was just a third-rate burglary. This is worse.
Waaaay worse. Somebody should go to jail. Several somebodies. Several more should lose their jobs.
I won’t hold my breath waiting.