Bipartisan report: IRS targeted conservatives

Sunday, August 9, 2015
 | 
Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

The Internal Revenue Service specifically went after conservative organizations
applying for tax-exempt status, according to a bipartisan report released by
the Senate Finance Committee Thursday.

A Closer LookSuch discriminatory action taken by the IRS against conservative grassroots groups is unconstitutional, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) reports, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who serves as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee says that there is plenty of proof against the government agency to prove it.

“This bipartisan investigation shows gross mismanagement at the highest levels of the IRS and confirms an unacceptable truth: that the IRS is prone to abuse,” Hatch asserts. “The Committee found evidence that the administration’s political agenda guided the IRS’s actions with respect to their treatment of conservative groups.”

The Republican from Utah points out that partisan motivations should play no part in the way the IRS conducts its operations.

“Personal politics of IRS employees, such as Lois Lerner, also impacted how the IRS conducted its business,” Hatch argued. “American taxpayers should expect more from the IRS and deserve an IRS that lives up to its mission statement of administering the tax laws fairly and impartially — regardless of political affiliation.”

The senator vowed to take actions to ensure that such political maneuvering is not a recurring problem at the IRS.

“Moving forward, it is my hope we can use this bipartisan report as a foundation to work towards substantial reforms at the agency so that this never happens again,” Hatch expressed.

Knew it all along …

ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow points out that nothing new was learned from the report about the IRS’s anti-conservative operations under the Left-leaning Obama administration.

“The Senate Finance Committee’s bipartisan report confirms what we knew all along,” Sekulow maintains. “The IRS systematically targeted conservative groups, subjected them to extreme delays, and unconstitutionally demanded they answer burdensome and intrusive questions.”

The leader of the Washington, D.C.-based Christian nonprofit legal group argues that the IRS’s covert operations going against conservative causes was merely carrying out President Barack Obama’s attack on ideals held by the political Right.

“As the bipartisan report highlights, the targeting ‘harmed the organizations ability to function for their stated purposes,’” the conservative legal expert relayed. “And as Committee Chairman Hatch correctly concluded, ‘the administration’s political agenda guided the IRS’s actions with respect to their treatment of conservative groups.’”

Sekulow explains that the Obama administration was successful for some time carrying out its Leftist agenda through the IRS and other government entities reporting to the White House.

“The report is replete with evidence of bureaucratic incompetence, partisan political animus, and willful delays and deception of Congress,” the Christian attorney informed. “The IRS remains institutionally incapable of self-correction."

Stacking the cards against the IRS

The executive summary issued by Hatch highlights several major findings uncovering a number of the IRS’s wrongdoings.

“[T]he IRS systemically selected Tea Party and other conservative organizations for heightened scrutiny, in a manner wholly different from how the IRS processed applications submitted by left-leaning and nonpartisan organizations” the report states. “[O]ur investigation revealed an environment within the IRS where the political bias of individual employees like Lois Lerner can, and sometimes does, influence decisions.”

The report shows that the IRS’ misconduct was anything but an isolated one-time event—it was ongoing and carried out under the Obama administration’s directive with malice intent against the Right and a blatant disregard for proper protocol.

“[T]he IRS has shown a pattern of continually misleading Congress about its handling of applications submitted by Tea Party organizations,” the bipartisan report continued. “[S]oon after the Obama Administration began a concerted effort to constrain spending on political speech, the IRS and other executive agencies began scrutinizing conservative organizations that had, or sought, tax-exempt status.”

To compound the mess, the IRS did everything it could to hide evidence uncovering the scandal.

“[T]he IRS harmed the Committee’s investigation by failing to properly preserve a significant portion of Lois Lerner’s email, resulting in its loss, and then concealing that loss from the Committee for months,” Hatch’s report declares.

Government regulations not enough

Sekulow, who has testified about the IRS scandal four times on Capitol Hill over the past two years, says that the recommendations made in the report for the IRS to simply follow the laws and regulations does little to make sure it will act in an appropriate manner in the future. As he recently stated before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, the IRS was not in this alone.

“[T]he IRS has targeted conservative groups for their political beliefs, and the Department of Justice has proven complicit in the targeting of conservative groups,” Sekulow testified.

ACLJ believes not enough is being done to prosecute the perpetrators behind the IRS scandal and vows to take things upon itself to ensure that justice prevails and such underhanded tactics by a government agency don’t take place again.

“There must be an independent prosecution — a Special Counsel — appointed, [a]nd the ACLJ will remain vigilant in court and before Congress until there is justice for those Americans who were targeted and accountability for the IRS that has abused its power and targeted everyday Americans,” ACLJ attorneys proclaim. “We will continue fighting to ensure that no American is ever again targeted by the IRS because of his or her political beliefs.”

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