All the president’s friends: AP is latest defector with whistle-blowing report on IRS

All the president’s friends: AP is latest defector with whistle-blowing report on IRS
Douglas Shulman
Douglas Shulman

What a difference damning testimony from high-level members of the diplomatic corps makes! Just three days have passed since three previously disallowed whistleblowers appeared before the House Oversight Committee to testify that the administration lied and diplomats died, and already the once-fawning MSM are jumping ship in droves, much like the lemmings they are.

The Associated Press, long one of Barack Obama’s most ardent admirers, finally lived up to its own promise of providing “accountability journalism” yesterday, running an exclusive on the newest scandal to face the administration: The wire service claims to have obtained a draft of an inspector general’s report that shows that senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew its agents were targeting conservative groups as early as 2011. The draft openly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner.

The IRS apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was ‘inappropriate’ targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.

But on June 29, 2011, Lois G. Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, learned at a meeting that groups were being targeted, according to the watchdog’s report. At the meeting, she was told that groups with ‘Tea Party,’ ”Patriot’ or ‘9/12 Project’ in their names were being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny, the report says.

In all, Lerner has said, about 75 groups were flagged for additional review because they had the words “tea party” or “patriot” somewhere in their applications. If that number doesn’t sound particularly high, imagine the cries of “Foul!” that would be rising from the left if the agency had investigated groups seeking tax-exempt status that had the words “progress” or “occupy” in their applications.

In the meantime, the new revelation casts a pall over direct testimony under oath by IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who appeared before a House Ways and Means subcommittee on March 22, 2012 to answer charges that the IRS had been harassing tea party groups. He told the committee:

There’s absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back and forth that happens to people [who apply for tax-exempt status].

Whether or not the administration knew of, much less ordered, this lopsided probe, it happened on Obama’s watch. For once, it might be interesting to hear what the president has to say.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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