February 8, 2014
IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: Republicans Step Up Probe into IRS Targeting Scandal.
House committees continued their probe this week into the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeting scandal in which conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status were subjected to extra scrutiny.
Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who represents the Texas-based group True the Vote, told a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee Thursday that the IRS targeting is very “real” and “not pretend.”
“The IRS, at the direction of some political elites in Washington – not in Cincinnati, but Washington – took what had been for decades a process of reviewing applications for exempt status that for a 501(c)(4) organization could be expected to take three to four weeks,” Mitchell said. “And they converted that process into one that took three to four years and, in some cases, is still not over.”
True the Vote filed its application for tax-exempt status in 2010 and did not receive it until after the group sued the IRS.
Mitchell said the first time she became aware of the targeting was in October 2009 when she filed an application for another group, and did not hear from the IRS until June 2010. She said when the IRS got back to them it was not Cincinnati, but the Washington office.
“That group did one thing. It lobbied against Obamacare in the fall of 2009, in the spring of 2010, something that a 501(c)(4) organization is permitted to spend 100 percent of its program expenditures doing. We did not get the tax-exempt status for that organization until July of 2013,” Mitchell said.
In a Sunday interview with Fox News, President Obama said the IRS targeting controversy was a result of “bone-headed decisions” in the agency’s Cincinnati office and did not involve “a smidgen of corruption.”
Yeah, that’s basically a straight-up lie.