The IRS is still targeting Tea Party groups

Not only is the investigation into the IRS scandal far from over, contrary to wishful thinking from the Left and obfuscation tactics from their representatives, but it’s getting hotter and hotter.  The Federal Elections Commission was just added to the mix, thanks to some highly irregular contacts with key scandal figure Lois Lerner.  And an IRS agent told the House Ways & Means Committee that the oppression of Tea Party groups is still happening, as reported by the Washington Examiner:

In closed door testimony before the House Ways & Means Committee, the unidentified IRS agent said requests for special tax status from Tea Party groups is being forced into a special “secondary screening” because the agency has yet to come up with new guidance on how to judge the tax status of the groups.

In a redacted transcript from the committee provided to Secrets, a Ways & Means investigator asked: “If you saw — I am asking this currently, if today if a Tea Party case, a group — a case from a Tea Party group came in to your desk, you reviewed the file and

The agent said, “At this point I would send it to secondary screening, political advocacy.”

The committee staffer then said, “So you would treat a Tea Party group as a political advocacy case even if there was no evidence of political activity on the application. Is that right?”

The agent admitted, “Based on my current manager’s direction, uh-huh.”

[House Ways & Means chairman Dave] Camp called the renewed targeting of Tea Party groups “outrageous.”

Added a committee aide, “In plain English, the IRS is still targeting Tea Party cases.”

there was no evidence of political activity, would you potentially approve that case? Is that something you would do?

This is especially outrageous for two reasons.  First, you’ll recall that the IRS originally claimed the whole Tea Party thing was the work of a few rogue low-level employees in the Cincinnati office.  Not only is that laughably untrue, but here we’re learning that the whole Tax Exempt Organizations division is still running on autopilot, blindly following orders issued from the highest levels in Washington – including one of the two Obama political appointees at the IRS – three months after those orders became the subject of a huge scandal.  The top-shelf officials who actually orchestrated this program of political oppression and vote suppression haven’t issued new instructions yet, perhaps because they know doing so would make their guilt even more obvious.  So the agents are doing the only thing they can do, because they’re not rogue operatives.

Secondly, the new IRS commissioner – former Obama Office of Management and Budget man Danny Werfel – told Congress that the anti-Tea Party “Be On the Lookout” list had been suspended.  This may be technically true, in that Werfel send out memos and told everyone to knock off all that BOLO-ing, but it sounds like they have essentially continued with the practice, because new guidelines were not promptly issued to replace the old ones.  Which raises the question of what IRS management does all day.  There shouldn’t have been anything more important on their to-do lists.  I would even rank “stop the abuse of power from continuing” higher than “find out who ordered the abuse of power.”