Government & Politics

IRS Scandal Investigation Continues

Nov. 11, 2013

Six months after the May 10 discovery that the IRS illegally targeted conservative organizations for additional “scrutiny,” House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) remains committed to finding answers about the scope of the IRS prying. It was the admission of former IRS official Lois Lerner that blew the lid off a scandal of epic proportions. Lerner then pleaded the Fifth before going on paid leave and finally retiring. The scandal was ignored by the Leftmedia and pushed out of any other headlines by the troubles in Syria, the government shutdown and the ObamaCare disaster. But congressional investigators are quietly continuing to work.

Issa issued a subpoena Thursday for Treasury Department documents that could detail interactions with the IRS about those Tea Party and Patriot groups. Both the House Committee and the Senate Finance Committee aim to release reports in December.

At first, we learned that the IRS was scrutinizing Tea Party and Patriot applications for tax-exempt status. But the House Ways and Means Committee is now looking into whether the IRS also targeted conservative groups for audit after tax-exempt status was granted. Again, despite what the Obama administration first told us, this is far more than just a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati. Audits also spread the trouble to the Dallas office.

When it comes to this (and any other scandal), Obama has long used the Sergeant Schultz defense: “I know nothing, I see nothing, I was not here, I did not even get up this morning.” And Democrats continue to circle the wagons around the White House, too. Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI) says, “There is zero evidence that the White House was involved in this.” But it would be better if the White House had made a phone call or sent an email directing this targeting. If there was, in fact, no White House involvement then this is systematic corruption and abuse of power by a government agency. Either way, it was not merely “incompetence” as Democrats would have us believe.

Issa’s subpoena reflects something else important: It asks for details of the apparatus set up to deal with ObamaCare. That’s right – the IRS is the agency that will enforce that law.