The IRS Tea Party scandal has all the characteristics of abusive government – from lies to threats to jail political opponents.
Remember when Lois Lerner and the Obama administration were blaming the IRS targeting scandal on “low level employees in the Cincinnati office?” It turns out those employees weren’t very happy about it.
New emails obtained by Judicial Watch pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act reveal angry IRS employees who were getting the blame for the targeting of Tea Party groups. The emails reveal a deceptive public relations strategy cooked up in Washington D.C. that the “low level” employees would have no part of.
Cindy Thomas wrote Lerner an email directly.
“Joseph Grant and others who came to Cincinnati last year specifically told the low level workers in Cincinnati that no one would be ‘thrown under the bus.’ Based on articles, Cincinnati wasn’t publically ‘thrown under the bus’ instead it was hit by a convoy of Mack trucks.”
Lerner, realizing by now that email might not be the best way to manage damage control responds “I will be back shortly and will give you a call.” Telephones work better than emails in avoiding Judicial Watch FOIA requests.
The emails also reveal a desire to jail conservative activists working for non-profits. From one IRS email:
As I mentioned yesterday — there are several groups of folks from the FEC world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for c4s who report they are not conducting political activity when they are (or these folks think they are). One is my ex-boss Larry Noble (former General Counsel at the FEC), who is now president of Americans for Campaign Reform. This is their latest push to shut these down. One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing the stuff.
Larry Noble is a speech regulator and heads the First Amendment-hostile organization Americans for Campaign Reform which seeks to limit the reach of the First Amendment. He is also a professor at George Washington University School of Law where he teaches law students his limited views of the First Amendment.
You can read the whole stack of documents Judicial Watch obtained here. Feel free to post other gems you find in the comments below.