The past few weeks have seen numerous allegations of wrongful doings and conduct by the IRS, but in Tuesday’s hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, felony charges were alluded to for the first time.
Officials from six different conservative groups testified before the committee on how the IRS targeted them and went way beyond the normal vetting process for non-profit status.
Susan Martinek, President of the Coalition of Life of Iowa detailed the harassment and extortionary tactics the IRS tried to use on them. Ms. Richards of the Cincinnati IRS office tried to get the coalition’s board to sign a letter stating that they would never picket or protest Planned Parenthood. Once they obtained an attorney affiliated with the Thomas More Society, who wrote a letter to Ms. Richards explaining the law, the group’s application for 501(c)3 status was quickly approved.
Surprisingly, even some Democrats on the committee seemed to show compassion for those testifying. Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) responded to Martinek, telling her that he supports abortion and Planned Parenthood, but the demands of the IRS concerning protesting the organization were more than inappropriate, they should never have been made in the first place.
Karen Kenney, with the San Fernando Valley Patriots of California, testified that after they submitted their application for 501(c)3 status, they received a list of 35 questions with 80 sub-questions. The list was so overwhelming and went beyond what was expected that the group decided to no longer pursue their non-profit status. In her testimony, Kenney said:
“My personal favorite was question No. 33, which in relation to protests asked for a listing of our ‘committed violations of local ordinances, breaches of public order or arrests’ then requested details on how we ‘conduct or promote’ illegal activities.”
The most damning testimony, as reported by WND, was that of John Eastman, Chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, located in Washington DC. Eastman testified that shortly after NOM filed their 2011 Form 990 tax return in, which listed all of their donors, that it was published on the website of the Human Rights Campaign; a same-sex marriage advocate and arch nemesis of NOM. That confidential donor list that was illegally posted on the HRC website listed a $10,000 donation made by Mitt Romney in 2008. This was conveniently leaked out early in the presidential campaign last year.
When asked if he could prove who leaked the tax return and donor list to the gay rights activist group, Eastman said they could prove it came from the IRS. They had forensic specialists examine the posting. After they stripped all of the layers away from the document, they found IRS meta-data codes proving it had originated from within the IRS.
Eastman testified that they guard their donor list very tightly and that they were horrified to find it had been posted on the pro-gay website. In his testimony, Eastman told the House Committee:
“You can imagine our shock and disgust over this disclosure. We jealously guard our donors.”
“I would call the disclosure of our donor lists by the IRS a felony.”
“This just smells and I hope this committee gets to the bottom of it.”
In typical Democratic bull, Rep Jim McDermott (D-WA) tried to slough off the whole matter claiming that the delays were simply administrative errors. He also went so far as to lay the blame on the organizations by stating that none of this would have happened had they not applied for tax-exempt status.
Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI) reacted to McDermott’s comments when he stated for the record:
“The charge here is that these groups were targeted for the political beliefs.”
Rep Dave Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the Committee, stated:
“They are Americans who did what we ask people to do every day, add their voice to the dialogue that defines our country.”
“And for pursuing that passion, for simply exercising their First Amendment rights, the freedoms of association, expression and religion, the IRS singled them out.”
I’m still convinced that all of this IRS targeting had to come from the White House. After all, IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House more than any other member of Obama’s cabinet. At least 118 of his record 157 White House visits were made during the time of all of the IRS targeting of tea party and conservatives. That can’t be a coincidence.
I also agree with John Eastman that the actions of the IRS constitute felony charges. Actually, I believe they are guilty of multiple felony charges and that a number of IRS employees including the top echelon should be brought up and charges and then sent to prison with the rest of the criminals. And if that trail leads to Shulman, it most definitely leads to the Oval Office and both he and Obama should also be brought up and charges and locked away.