Shocked! Shocked, I tell you! OK, maybe not so shocked. A donor to Barack Obama’s political campaigns was appointed by the Justice Department to investigate whether Obama had used the IRS to target the Tea Party. Now we learn the donor found no criminal wrongdoing by the IRS.
The officials said investigators didn’t find the kind of political bias or “enemy hunting” that would amount to a violation of criminal law. Instead, what emerged during the probe was evidence of a mismanaged bureaucracy enforcing rules about tax-exemption applications it didn’t understand, according to the law-enforcement officials.
While the case is still being investigated and could remain open for months, officials familiar with its progress said it is increasingly unlikely any criminal charges will result. That could change, the officials cautioned, if unexpected evidence is discovered that alters their thinking.
Perhaps the investigation should look into:
- The suggestion of one Cincinnati employee that officials in Washington closely controlled the review of tea-party cases.
- The testimony of Gary Muthert, who works in the Cincinnati office and who was told by John Shafer, the manager of that office, that “Washington, D.C. wanted some cases.”
- And Elizabeth Hofacre, the Cincinnati IRS official who in 2010 had the responsibly of handling all tea party applications. She told the committee that she understood the “lookout list” used to flag the applications of tea party groups was also intended to flag those of Republican and conservative groups.
- Ms Hofacre was upset that she had “no autonomy” in her handling of the cases, and she termed the behavior of IRS officials in Washington in the matter “very unusual.”
That would be just a start.
I wonder how the media would react if a Chris Christie donor was running the investigation into “Bridgegate.”