Is anything the Obama administration minions say about the IRS scandal true?
The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported on emails turned up by congressional investigators for the House Ways and Means Committee written by Lois Lerner, the Fifth-Amendment-taking government careerist at the heart of the scandal.
The IRS has claimed the extra scrutiny – also known as “harassment” – for groups claiming tax-exempt status was not linked to political leanings, was not directed at a level higher than a local Internal Revenue Service branch in Ohio, and was not an issue for top officials in the agency until it was reported in the media in the spring of this year.
None of these things is true, according to emails written by Lerner herself.
In one, written to her staff in February 2011, Lerner called a a tea party issue “very dangerous,” according to the Journal. She wrote that “Counsel” – presumably IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins, a longtime friend of the president appointed directly by Obama – should be involved.
“Cincy should probably NOT have these cases,” Lerner wrote.
In one email, then, the whole IRS defense of “who,” “where,” “when” and “why” is destroyed. Higher-ups were involved. Decisions were to be made in Washington, not “Cincy.” The email was written two years before spring of 2013. And it was a tea party matter — not some lefty outfit — that was “very dangerous.”
When emails surface of Lerner calling a liberal group “very dangerous,” Rachel Maddow will announce it to the 22 people still watching her MSNBC show. U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., will be sure to tell the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee he serves on, right after he gets finished pronouncing the scandal dead for the umpteenth time.
Lerner herself might even tell the world, as long as she can talk without incriminating herself. That won’t be easy, since few things are more incriminating than telling the truth about lies you’ve already told.
Lerner and the IRS can hope the drums of war keep beating over Syria. They can hope the upcoming fights over the debt-ceiling, Obamacare funding and immigration will keep the heat off for a while.
But nothing lasts forever.
The Oversight and Ways and Means committees’ investigations of the assault on American democracy by the IRS are continuing.
And to paraphrase a famous theologian, the arc of Oversight bends toward justice.