The PJ Tatler

White House Counsel Knew in April of IRS's Targeting of Conservatives

Politico is reporting that the White House counsel’s office was informed by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General Office in April of the IRS’s targeting of conservatives.

White House spokesman Jay Carney insists that the president was not informed of the IG’s review of the IRS and learned about the program on Friday through news reports.

The White House counsel’s office was informed in April of an inspector general’s review of the Internal Revenue Service, press secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

Carney told reporters that the counsel’s office was told of the examination into the targeting of conservative groups during the week of April 22, but not given details about the review’s findings. President Obama, Carney said, was not told about the review and learned of it only after news reports emerged Friday, just what Obama said earlier Monday.

“We have never — we don’t have access to, nor should we, the IG’s report or any draft versions of it,” Carney said.

So the White House counsel’s office knew generally that the IRS was targeting conservative groups in April, but apparently didn’t know the “details.”

Suppose you’re some innocent little president, sitting in your Oval Office playing with your ship in the bottle, watching the news and all of a sudden you learn that the government that you are in charge of has been targeting your political enemies with harassment and bullying. What would be your first reaction — if you were an innocent little president?


Suppose then you learn that your personal counsel kept the bad news from you. Even though he didn’t have “specific details,” he was aware of the program targeting the president’s enemies and, presuming he isn’t brain dead, knew the political ramifications of such targeting and the very real possibility that it could destroy the administration. If you were indeed just some innocent little president, minding your own business,  what would be the first words out of your mouth when the White House counsel came to see you after the story broke?


I do not believe that Barack Obama first learned of the IRS’s targeting of conservatives “from news reports” on Friday. That doesn’t pass the smell test, especially since a close aide was told of the program three weeks ago. Are we to believe that the president’s own counsel didn’t immediately go to the Oval Office after learning of this and tell Obama “We’ve got a big  problem, sir”? And the fact that the White House is now in full-blown circle-the wagons damage-control mode would suggest that their primary goal is to keep the president a thousand miles away from anything having to do with this scandal.

Good luck with that, guys. Just remember — it’s always the cover-up that gets ya.