Timeline refutes IRS version of tea party profiling, officials knew in 2011

tea party
Photo Credit: ACLJ

An upcoming report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is said to show that Lois Lerner, the IRS director of tax–exempt organizations, was told about the targeting of conservative political groups in 2011, and not 2012, as she admitted to Friday.

On Friday, Lerner admitted to and apologized for her unit which, she said, specifically targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups in election year 2012 for additional review and scrutiny in requests for tax-exempt status, including going so far as to asking these groups to provide their donor lists to the IRS, the Associated Press first reported.

However, the Inspector General report, expected out early next week, includes a draft timeline that will show Lerner was told of the targeting in a June 2011 meeting, according to portions of the report obtained by USA Today.

According to USA Today:

The timeline shows that on June 29, 2011, Lerner received a briefing on how IRS officials in Cincinnati were dealing with applications for tax-exempt status for Tea Party groups. The briefing paper showed that the IRS was subjecting certain groups to further investigation based on politically loaded terms in the tax-exempt application file. Groups were singled out for enhanced scrutiny if:

The words “tea party,” “patriots,” or “9/12 project” appeared anywhere in the group name or case file;

The group’s stated issues included government spending, government debt or taxes;

The organization had a goal of educating of the public via advocacy or lobbying to “make America a better place to live;”

Any statements in the case file critical of how the country is being run.

Lois Lerner
Senior IRS official Lois Lerner
Photo Credit: Bangor Daily News

USA Today reported that Lerner objected to this criteria, and so new criteria was established for targeting “’political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement,’” the report will show.

It was reported Friday that Congress was made aware of the suspected targeting in 2012, but former IRS Commissioner Douglas Schulman denied the allegations coming in from Tea Party-like groups. “What’s been happening has been the normal back-and-forth that happens with the IRS,” Schulman testified to Congress in March 2012. “And so, there’s absolutely no targeting.”

Lerner apologized on behalf of the IRS Friday, but said no top officials in the IRS were aware of the practice.

Members of the Republican led House of Representatives rejected the IRS apology and have now called for immediate hearings to investigate this new report and hold officials in the IRS accountable, the article said.

More from USA Today.


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