The unusual timing of the meetings suggest that Ruemmler and potentially other White House members may have known of the IRS Inspector General Report months earlier than has been reported.

While these meetings were taking place, three things were going on. Obama was fighting re-election and hating on the Tea Party, the IRS had internally investigated the abuse and chosen not to disclose that investigation to congressional investigators, and among those later dates, the anticipated IG report on the abuse was being delayed again and again, past the election.

The Post goes out of its way to describe Ruemmler as an apolitical straight arrow who “stays in her lane” and doesn’t get involved in political messaging. Christopher Meade, on the other hand, is a lifelong leftwing activist. Meade and Ruemmler make, then, for an odd couple to be meeting frequently.

As a Princeton undergraduate, Meade, along with two other students, was arrested in February 1990 for disorderly conduct after disrupting Vice President Dan Quayle’s speech to Congressional Republicans.

In April 1989, Meade led a class boycott against Princeton University after having planned a sit-in of the Dean of Students office that resulted in a letter of reprimand. “It just seems by doing things the nice way, no one listens,” he told the Daily Princetonian in April 1989. “This will get the administration’s ear.”

Meade also led the left-wing campus group, Urban Action, which according to Meade had as its “primary purpose” “mobiliz[ing] students to get involved in issues of homelessness, gentrification, poverty, and racism.”

And so forth. Meade is a more typical Obama administration apparatchik. Interesting, then, that he was installed so high up in Treasury at the precise time a nasty abuse scandal was building. His actual legal career is undistinguished, while his leftwing agitator credentials are stellar.

Then there’s this:

J. Russell George, the Treasury Department’s inspector general for taxation, told the House Ways and Means Committee that he informed Meade and Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin in June 2012, disclosing for the first time that high-level executive branch officials knew of the inspector general’s investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of conservative political groups. Meade’s conferences with Ruemmler began the following month.

All these meetings — the IRS union head meeting Obama the day before the abuse began, the IRS chief going to the White House 118 times, the Treasury’s hard-left principal deputy general meeting with the White House’s “straight arrow” counsel — just happened to be taking place as the abuse built up and metastasized, and as it was being investigated.

There’s a lot of smoke in here.