Monday, June 03, 2013

Smoking Gun: The White House Fiction On IRS-Gate Begins To Implode

The White House narrative on IRS-gate is rapidly falling to pieces.

Originally, the spin was that the deliberate targeting of conservative, pro-Israel and Tea Party groups applying for 501C tax exempt status was just the work of a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati, Ohio. The multiple audits performed on Romney donors and conservative leaders were dismissed in the same way, just coincidental, with Lois Lerner, then the head of the IRS' tax exempt division refusing to answer questions after say she 'did nothing wrong'.

Remember Benghazi? First we were told that it was all because of some Islamophobic bigot who made a YouTube video, that it was a spontaneous 'demonstration' and that there was was no possible way to save the Americans who were murdered. As that horse manure became readily apparent and started to smell, all of the loyal apparatchniks at the White House, including the president who lied to the American people now want everybody to forget about it. After all, as Secretary Clinton said, "what does it matter?" And as White House spokeshole Jay Carney keeps reminding us , it was a long time ago.

IRS-Gate is going the same way.

Anyone who knew anything about the IRS knew that it was a national agency, and that a couple of misbehaving agents don't initiate this kind of political jihad. The agency itself is now admitting this by default, by locking down computers with any information on the scandal while refusing requests from both the House and Senate investigating committees for documents. Over 88 agents at various locations have been implicated. And indeed, as Darrell Issa's committee continues and more to delve into this, a number of these agents are admitting what we all knew anyway....the the directions to target conservatives during an election cycle and hurt their efforts to raise donations came from Washington DC:

Q: In early 2010, was there a time when you became aware of applications that referenced Tea Party or other conservative groups?
A: In March of 2010, I was made aware.

Q: Okay. Now, was there a point around this time period when [your supervisor] asked you to do a search for similar applications?
A: Yes.
Q: To the best of your recollection, when was this request made?
A: Sometime in early March of 2010.

Q: Did [your supervisor] give you any indication of the need for the search, any more context?
A: He told me that Washington, D.C., wanted some cases.

Q: So as of April 2010, these 40 cases were held at that moment in your group; is that right?
A: Some were.
Q: How many were held there?
A: Less than 40. Some went to Washington, D.C.
Q: Okay. How many went to Washington, D.C.?
A: I sent seven.


Q: So you prepared seven hard copy versions of the applications to go to Washington, D.C.?
A: Correct.


Q: Did he give you any sort of indication as to why he requested you to do that?

A: He said Washington, D.C. wanted seven. Because at one point I believe I heard they were thinking 10, but it came down to seven. I said okay, seven.
Q: How did you decide which seven were sent?
A: Just the first seven.
Q: The first seven to come into the system?
A: Yes.


Q: Did anyone else ever make a request that you send any cases to Washington?
A: [Different IRS employee] wanted to have two cases that she couldn't ‑‑ Washington, D.C. wanted them, but she couldn't find the paper. So she requested me, through an email, to find these cases for her and to send them to Washington, D.C.
Q: When was this, what time frame?
A: I don't recall the time frame, maybe May of 2010.


Q: But just to be clear, she told you the specific names of these applicants.
A: Yes.
Q: And she told you that Washington, D.C. had requested these two specific applications be sent to D.C.
A: Yes, or parts of them.


Q: Okay. So she asked you to send particular parts of these applications.
A: Mm‑hmm.
Q: And that was unusual. Did you say that?
A: Yes.
Q: And she indicated that Washington had requested these specific parts of these specific applications; is that right?
A: Correct.


Q: So what do you think about this, that allegation has been made, I think as you have seen in lots of press reports, that there were two rogue agents in Cincinnati that are sort of responsible for all of the issues that we have been talking about today. What do you think about those allegations?
A: It's impossible. As an agent we are controlled by many, many people. We have to submit many, many reports. So the chance of two agents being rogue and doing things like that could never happen.


Q: And you've heard, I'm sure, news reports about individuals here in Washington saying this is a problem that was originated in and contained in the Cincinnati office, and that it was the Cincinnati office that was at fault. What is your reaction to those types of stories?
A: Well, it's hard to answer the question because in my mind I still hear people saying we were low‑level employees, so we were lower than dirt, according to people in D.C. So, take it for what it is. They were basically throwing us underneath the bus.


Q: So is it your perspective that ultimately the responsible parties for the decisions that were reported by the IG are not in the Cincinnati office?
A: I don't know how to answer that question. I mean, from an agent standpoint, we didn't do anything wrong. We followed directions based on other people telling us what to do.
Q: And you ultimately followed directions from Washington; is that correct?
A: If direction had come down from Washington, yes.
Q: But with respect to the particular scrutiny that was given to Tea Party applications, those directions emanated from Washington; is that right?
A: I believe so.

And another more senior IRS Cincinnati employee complained about micromanagement from D.C.:

Q: But you specifically recall that the BOLO terms included "Tea Party?"
A: Yes, I do.
Q: And it was your understanding ‑‑ was it your understanding that the purpose of the BOLO was to identify Tea Party groups?
A: That is correct.
Q: Was it your understanding that the purpose of the BOLO was to identify conservative groups?
A: Yes, it was.
Q: Was it your understanding that the purpose of the BOLO was to identify Republican groups?
A: Yes, it was.


Q: Earlier I believe you informed us that the primary reason for applying for another job in July [2010] was because of the micromanagement from [Washington, DC, IRS Attorney], is that correct?
A: Right. It was the whole Tea Party. It was the whole picture. I mean, it was the micromanagement. The fact that the subject area was extremely sensitive and it was something that I didn't want to be associated with.
Q: Why didn't you want to be associated with it?
A: For what happened now. I mean, rogue agent? Even though I was taking all my direction from EO Technical [Washington, D.C], I didn't want my name in the paper for being this rogue agent for a project I had no control over.
Q: Did you think there was something inappropriate about what was happening in 2010?
A: Yes. The inappropriateness was not processing these applications fairly and timely.


Q: You have stated you had concerns with the fairness and the timeliness of the application process. Did you have concerns with just the fact that these cases were grouped together and you were the only one handling them?
A: I was the only one handling the Tea Party's, that is correct.
Q: Did that specifically cause you concern?
A: Yes, it did. And I was the only person handling them.
Q: Were you concerned that you didn't have the capacity to process all of the applications in a timely manner?
A: That is correct. And it is just ‑‑ I mean, like you brought up, the micromanagement, the fact that the topic was just weirdly handled was a huge concern to me.

But wait, there's more.

Remember President Obama's deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter? We last saw here being caught in a number of blatant lies during the 2012 campaign, including accusing Mitt Romney of being a felon..

She now appears to have stepped in it once again.

On Jake Tapper's Sunday show The Lead on CNN, Cutter said this during the interview:

“A couple of facts here that I think are important for us to stick by, number one, the only reason we know about these visits is because the president makes everything public. Number two, what we’re really looking at some of these visits… What we are looking at the number of times that Mr. Shulman was cleared into the White House. It doesn’t necessarily mean he went to a meeting. Number three, many of those meetings were for healthcare implementation. I was in them with him.

Entire transcript of the segment is here.

The 'Mr. Shulman' she's talking about is Doug Shulman, a partisan Democrat and Obama donor who ran the IRS from March 24, 2008 to November 9, 2012.

When Shulman was asked in the wake of IRS-gate whether he had ever attended meetings at the White House, his flip response was to admit to taking his children to the annual Easter egg roll hosted by the president and first lady, but he claimed in testimony before the House Oversight Committee that he never discussed the agency's tax exempt programs at all.

In fact he was there 157 times last year, more than any other IRS commissioner in history. His predecessor went exactly one time.

And now Stephanie Cutter just admitted on national television that she, the deputy campaign chairman of President Obama's re-election campaign was at those meetings with him, yet there was never any discussion of targeting conservativ3e groups and GOP donors in order to help the president's campaign.

Why was she at those meetings then, in the middle of a major political campaign? Was she just a huge fan of talking about the subtlties of the tax code? Was it his cologne? Or maybe, just maybe were they co-ordinating strategy to help the Obama campaign by using the IRS as a weapon to target political opponents?

If I were Darrell Issa, I'd put Ms. Cutter under oath and grill her forthwith.


Proud Progressive said...

This is such crap.

There's nothing linking this to President Obama. You just can't stand the idea of a black man kicking the Republican's butts and being in the White House.

UCSPanther said...

Face it progressive: Obama is your Nixon.

Only the most delusional and/or stupid ideologues can defend Obama with a straight face now

Hube said...

There's nothing linking this to President Obama.

At this stage in 1972-73, there wasn't "anything" linking Watergate to President Nixon.

You just can't stand the idea of a black man kicking the Republican's butts and being in the White House.

If "a black man" cannot be expected to be held to the same standards as anyone else, they shouldn't run for the office, then. It's quite simple.