Among the many Obama Administration scandals the mainstream media have chosen to ignore, the IRS targeting of conservative nonprofit groups is not only still an active investigation but a widening one.
Evidence is still mounting that the Administration has not been forthcoming in complying with congressional requests for information or in what it has told the public.
This week, the House Ways and Means Committee has released an email that indicates former IRS official Lois Lerner and the Treasury Department conspired to rewrite rules for nonprofits so as to hamper conservative groups and keep the changes out of the public view.
According to the Daily Caller, the email shows Lerner and the Treasury devised the rules changes “off-plan,” meaning they would not be published publicly.
Despite what the White House has implied, the changes were not devised to “clarify” rules after the IRS scandal broke but in 2012, while the IRS was actively targeting Tea Party and other conservative organizations with intrusive questionnaires and procedural roadblocks to their requests for 501(c)4 nonprofit status.
The changes would have classified as political activities even nonpartisan efforts by groups to organize and educate the public, such as voter registration drives, candidates forums and issue information pamphlets. The IRS is accused of applying such restrictions to conservatives, while liberal groups have gotten away with openly ignoring the rules and still sailed through the application process.
Among the more obnoxious questions the IRS asked of conservatives in dragging out the application process during an election year were personal information on members, speakers at meetings, and in one case the content of members’ prayers.
Treasury official Ruth Madrigal, in a June 14, 2012, email, wrote: “Don’t know who in your organizations is keeping tabs on c4s, but since we mentioned potentially addressing them (off -plan) in 2013, I’ve got my radar up and this seemed interesting. …”
Ways and Means chairman Rep. David Camp said, “If Treasury and the IRS fabricated the rationale for a rule change it would tend to raise questions about the integrity of the rule-making process.”
During a Wednesday hearing, Camp called for the new 501(c)4 rules to be suspended until criminal investigations of the IRS scandal are finished.
The Administration still hasn’t provided all the documents requested by Ways and Means, and it is painfully obvious that there is a coverup in effect.
How high the coverup goes is an open question, but it’s simply unbelievable that midlevel managers at the IRS and Treasury would simply spontaneously decide on their own authority to engage in such a blatant abuse of power.
This disdain for conservatives pervades the Obama Administration, which would tend to suggest that it all has a common root. If we ever get near the full truth in the IRS scandal, it would be no surprise to find that the trail ends in the Oval Office.