How? It’s simple. The IRS systematically oppressed his critics in ways that hobbled their ability to participate in the electoral process. That oppression kept them from organizing and fundraising as effectively as they might have. It convinced many of them to give up and quit. At the same time, groups allied to the president were having their applications sail through the IRS. This strengthened Obama’s friends and weakened his enemies, systematically, over the course of more than two years as he ramped up to become the first billion-dollar president.

The IRS was aware of the abuse at the top levels by May 2012. Just six months before the election. America learned during testimony in Congress today that not only was the IRS aware of the abuse, it had investigated it. Having investigated it, the agency then covered it up and told Congress nothing about it. The IRS maintained the charade just long enough for Barack Obama to be re-elected. Now, the IRS orchestrated breaking the scandal open more than a year before the next mid-term, an election in which Barack Obama hoped to flip the House to Democrat control and consolidate his power for the remaining two years of his presidency.

You don’t need to be a conspiracy theorist to see what’s right in front of your eyes. A conspiracy is defined as “an agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act.” Criminals are convicted of engaging in conspiracies every day. By that definition of conspiracy, even Lois Lerner’s “two rogue employees in Cincinnati” were a conspiracy. Now we know that there were at least six agents involved, that their supervisors had to be involved, that the heads of the determinations office had to be involved, and that at least knowledge of the abuse went all the way to Washington. The main question now is, did the abuse start there in Washington, and did it even start in the IRS?

Catherine Engelbrecht’s experience strongly hints that the conspiracy and campaign to oppress the president’s critics began outside the IRS, higher than any single executive branch agency, and higher than any of the president’s political appointees. That suggests that it either began in the White House, or in the Obama 2012 campaign, or in a melding of the two.

After today’s hearings, we have a few new facts, but more questions than answers. Americans deserve full and complete answers. We deserve to know whether our president or his close lieutenants abused their government power in order to maintain their own.