Post gives IRS ‘four Pinocchios’ for lying about tax scandal

The IRS is lying about its timeline of targeting conservative causes.

That’s the conclusion of Washington Post “Fact Checker” Glenn Kessler, who wades through the numbers to find three key statements by the agency about monitoring conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status were deliberately and demonstrably wrong:

  • That the monitoring was prompted by a flood of applications after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in January 2010. There was a jump in the number of applications, according to Kessler’s analysis, but it came in 2011, “long after the targeting of conservative groups had been implemented.”
  • That Lois G. Lerner, the IRS’s director of the exempt organizations division, did not learn of the monitoring practice until news reports about it came out in February and March of 2012. According to Kessler, Lerner was briefed on almost a year earlier – in June 2011 – and was “continued to be heavily involved in the issue in the months preceding the new reports.”
  • That Lerner had never been asked about the practice until she answered a planted question about it at an American Bar Association conference. Lerner had been asked about it two days earlier, according to Kessler, by in a congressional hearing.

The congressman who asked the question, New York Democrat Joe Crowley, is now demanding Lerner’s resignation.

Kessler awarded Lerner “Four Pinocchios” for her statements.

“In some ways, this is just scratching the surface of Lerner’s misstatements and weasely wording when the revelations about the IRS’s activities first came to light on May 10,” he writes.

In a word, “liar.”


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