Does anyone recall when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal broke? Fingers were pointed at some rebel agents in the Cincinnati office. End of story.
Not so fast. Last week the scandal was clearly orchestrated in Washington. It turns out that the chief counsel of the IRS is one of only two Obama political appointees in the agency. Period.
It would seem that Lois Lerner, Obama’s appointee, launched the entire search and delay applications for 501c4 status by Tea Party and groups with references to patriot, Constitution and similar titles.
If one recalls, Ms. Lerner was before a House committee conducting an inquiry into allegations a few months back, gave a statement and then pled the Fifth Amendment, which states: “...nor shall (a person) be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself....”
It seems that Ms. Lerner, who is still on paid administrative leave from the IRS, has two IRS personnel willing to testify that she, Lerner, established the conservative headhunting policy. IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division Revenue agent Elizabeth Hofacre and retired IRS tax law specialist Carter Hull testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that it was orders from Lerner that set the scheme in motion.
Michael Seto, head of Hull’s unit, chimed in as well. He told investigators that Lois Lerner decided to single out Tea Party applications that would undergo added scrutiny and a multi layer review process.
According to published reports in the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Hull told House investigators that at some point in the winter of 2010-11, Ms. Lerner’s senior adviser, whose name is withheld in the publicly released partial interview transcript, told him the applications would require further review:
Q: “Did [the senior adviser to Ms. Lerner] indicate to you whether she agreed with your recommendations?”
A: “She did not say whether she agreed or not. She said it should go to chief counsel.”
Q: “The IRS chief counsel?”
A: “The IRS chief counsel.”
The IRS chief counsel is named William Wilkins. And again, he is one of only two Obama political appointees in the IRS, the Wall Street Journal stated.
This scandal, among many the administration is trying to deflect, could have major political and criminal implications.