February 7, 2014
The IRS hyper-scrutiny of conservative groups only began in 2010 amid the Obama Administration’s larger political attack on political donors like the Koch brothers, and emails show that IRS officials were acutely aware of this political environment. In February 2010, for example, an IRS screener in Cincinnati flagged an application to his superiors noting: “Recent media attention to this type of organization indicates to me that this is a ‘high profile’ case.”
From then on applications were routed through the offices of Mrs. Lerner and Obama-appointed IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, and long approval delays ensued. Extensive interviews and emails show that neither the initial Cincinnati interest, nor the subsequent Washington delay, was in any way driven by “confusion.”
Mr. Koskinen promised in December to restore public trust in the IRS, but he didn’t do much of that on Wednesday. He toed the Administration line on the new 501(c)(4) rules, promising to address concerns only “to the extent I have any control” over the process. He refused to say if he’d comply with Mr. Camp’s request for IRS and Treasury documents pertaining to the rule-making, fretting instead about low IRS “morale” and lack of funding.
The quickest way Mr. Koskinen could restore public trust in the IRS would be to halt the new politically toxic 501(c)(4) rules until investigations into the original targeting are complete. Meantime, the House should sharply reduce IRS funding until the agency is more responsive.
Zero out their conference budget. That seems quite important to them. . . .