In addition to the email correspondences released by Judicial Watch earlier this year, the group this week published new internal IRS documents calling into question the Obama administration’s account of the ongoing scandal’s origin.
As part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed last year, Judicial Watch received copies of some key electronic conversations between IRS staffers at the agency’s D.C. headquarters and other key officials.
The apparent conspiracy to unfairly scrutinize conservative tax-exempt organization dates back to at least early 2010 , according to the documents released, and points directly to involvement by agents in the nation’s capital.
According to an email conversation beginning in February of that year, an exempt organizations manager in California instructed a colleague in D.C. to “let ‘Washington’ know about this potentially embarrassing case involving a ‘Tea Party’ organization.”
The response concluded that “sending it up here is a good idea given the potential for media interest.”
Embattled former IRS official Lois Lerner is involved in some of the correspondences, including one from April 2, 2013 that expounds on the criteria used to determine which groups should initiate a ‘be on the lookout’ – or BOLO – response from officials.
“The screening group manager asked his employees how they were applying the BOLO’s short-hand reference to ‘tea party,’” she wrote. “His employees responded that they were including organizations meeting any of the following criteria as falling within the BOLO’s reference to ‘tea party’ organizations: 1. ‘Tea Party,’ ‘Patriots’ or ‘9/12 Project’ is referenced in the case file. 2. Issues include government spending, government debt and taxes. 3. Educate the public through advocacy/legislative activities to make America a better place to live. 4. Statements in the case file that are critical of how the country is being run…”
In other words, the IRS declared open season on Americans who support lower taxes and believe America can be great again.
Democrat Sen. Carl Levin was also a prominent figure in the released documents. He sent multiple letters to the IRS as the 2012 presidential election approached in which he sought action against a dozen groups he said should be investigated. Of that list, only one had any discernible leftist ties.
Photo Credit: Matthew G. Bisanz (Creative Commons)