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Old 07-18-2013, 01:13 PM
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Default IRS lawyer testifies that political appointee's office involved in Tea Party screenin

Well, well, what have we here? It looks like the IRS scandal is now firmly pointing to Washington DC and one of the only two IRS employees that Obama can appoint. A top Obama appointee. I wonder how the left is going to try and spin this to say Obama wasn't involved?

Quote:
A veteran IRS lawyer testified on Thursday that officials from a Washington office led by a political appointee intervened in the screening of Tea Party applications, saying publicly for the first time the IRS chief counsel's office was involved in the controversial program.

Carter Hull, a recently retired tax law specialist, gave his first-hand account during testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Hull had earlier come under scrutiny after an employee in the Cincinnati IRS office told congressional investigators that he had been micro-managing her review of Tea Party groups' applications for tax-exempt status. But Hull revealed that he, too, was taking orders from up the chain of command.

Hull specifically said he was told to forward documents to an adviser for embattled IRS official Lois Lerner -- who first revealed the targeting of Tea Party groups and has since refused to answer lawmakers' questions. But Hull said he was then told to send documents to the Office of Chief Counsel for their review -- which is led by political appointee William Wilkins.

At an August 2011 meeting, Hull said, someone from the chief counsel's office said additional information was needed from Tea Party applicants that Hull was dealing with, and that a second letter should be sent out requesting more information.

These letters have since been cited by Tea Party groups as part of a drawn-out process that in some cases left them without any resolution for years.
Hull said during his testimony that the multi-level layer of review was "unusual." And he said the Cincinnati office was stuck on applications because he, too, was waiting for guidance from the chief counsel's office.

"I was waiting for word from chief counsel as to how to proceed," Hull said.
Read more: IRS lawyer testifies that political appointee's office involved in Tea Party screening | Fox News
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: IRS lawyer testifies that political appointee's office involved in Tea Party scre

Whoops, looks like HJ and myself both put the same article on here. Can a Mod merge these two?

I can't believe no comments on either of these. The testimony today makes a direct link back to Washington DC and to a top political appointee of Barrak Obama in the IRS scandal. If this proves correct, it is a direct tie-in to Obama and no deflection, distraction or excuses will be able to explain this away.

This could be huge!!!
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: IRS lawyer testifies that political appointee's office involved in Tea Party scre

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The government watchdog who issued the report that found the IRS was targeting conservative groups was turned into a punching bag by Democrats in the second half of a tense hearing Thursday, leading Inspector General J. Russell George to chide lawmakers for their attacks on his office.

“This is unprecedented,” he said of his treatment before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at the end of the hearing.

The first half of the hearing was devoted to testimony from IRS officials who claimed higher-ups in Washington, D.C., were involved in applying additional scrutiny to Tea Party and other groups.

But the second half featured George and his associates, and ended up becoming a forum for Democratic lawmakers to accuse him of effectively ignoring potential signs that liberal groups may have been targeted as well. They pointed in part to IRS documents that suggest “progressive” groups may have been singled out.

George, though, said he didn’t see one of those packets until last week. He said he was “disturbed” it took so long for the IRS to produce the documents.

But George has also said all along that the evidence mostly pointed to conservative groups receiving the most scrutiny. He bristled at the tough questioning from Democrats which repeatedly second-guessed his office’s audit of the IRS’ practices.

“I have to admit, I am a little concerned that this type of forum could have a chilling effect on the operations of inspectors general,” George said, referring specifically to the second-guessing of how the audit was run.

He added: “We’ve never treated an IG office like this.”

This prompted a heated retort from the committee’s leading Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who raised his voice and was at times almost shaking as he vowed to uncover the “whole truth.” He claimed nobody was trying to attack the IG.

Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the committee, said at the top of the hearing that the committee is open to examining any “credible” questions surrounding inspectors general, but as of now "stand solidly behind" their efforts.

Republicans also pointed out that while Democrats claim progressive groups may have been targeted, they have not come forward to complain about their treatment at the hands of the IRS like Tea Party groups have.

Earlier Thursday, a veteran IRS worker testified that officials from a Washington office led by a political appointee intervened in the screening of Tea Party applications, saying publicly for the first time the IRS chief counsel's office was involved in the controversial program.

Carter Hull, a recently retired tax law specialist, had earlier come under scrutiny after an employee in the Cincinnati IRS office told congressional investigators that he had been micro-managing her review of Tea Party groups' applications for tax-exempt status. But Hull revealed that he, too, was taking orders from up the chain of command.

Hull specifically said he was told to forward documents to an adviser for embattled IRS official Lois Lerner -- who first revealed the targeting of Tea Party groups and has since refused to answer lawmakers' questions. But Hull said he was then told to send documents to the Office of Chief Counsel for their review -- which is led by political appointee William Wilkins.

At an August 2011 meeting, Hull said, someone from the chief counsel's office said additional information was needed from Tea Party applicants that Hull was dealing with, and that a second letter should be sent out requesting more information.

These letters have since been cited by Tea Party groups as part of a drawn-out process that in some cases left them without any resolution for years.

Hull said during his testimony that the multi-level layer of review was "unusual." And he said the Cincinnati office was stuck on applications because he, too, was waiting for guidance from the chief counsel's office.

"I was waiting for word from chief counsel as to how to proceed," Hull said.

Hull repeatedly said that he was not told specifically to hold up applications. But he confirmed that after meeting with the chief counsel's office, applications were eventually taken out of his control and forwarded on for "further review," which he said was "rare."


Read more: Watchdog decries ?unprecedented? treatment by Dems at IRS hearing | Fox News
Can't defend your actions?? Then attack your accusers with BS arguments about crap that "suggests" something might have happened that your accusers never mentioned. Never mind that NO "progressive groups have come forward to complain about their treatment at the hands fo the IRS, nor is there any PROOF that they wer targetted. Just stick to making accusations that sound like facts to those who are on your side and ignore the truth.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: IRS lawyer testifies that political appointee's office involved in Tea Party scre

An editorial summary of the days events from Hot Air:
Quote:
A few thoughts on round one of today's House Oversight Committee's IRS hearings:



(1) Right out of the gate, Democrats' top priority was attacking Chairman Issa -- accusing him of overreaching and conducting committee business in an overly partisan manner. Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings also asserted his desire to "get to the bottom" of the IRS scandal, intoning that he's seeking, "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." But just last month, he called the IRS affair "solved." Rep. Gerry Connolly, a liberal from Virginia, spent his entire question period upbraiding Issa and launching pre-emptive strikes against the Inspector General, who will testify later. He did not ask a single question of the witnesses. Democrats also launched broadsides against Mitch McConnell and Marco Rubio over statements those Senators have made about the IRS.



(2) One of today's witnesses was Carter Hull, who worked at the agency for 48 years before recently retiring. He was based in DC. Hull came across as an old-school, no-nonsense guy, and was very careful in his answers. Hull testified that he was given two critical Tea Party "test case" applications at the beginning of the targeting process. He recommended that one group be approved and the other be denied tax exempt status. Management stripped him of both cases, ignored his recommendations, and handed the applications over to a brand new employee with virtually no experience in the field. Hull said his supervisor told him the cases would be kicked up the chain into the IRS chief counsel's office. (The head of that office is an Obama appointee who met personally with the president in 2011, after his office got involved in the targeting process). Hull told the committee that senior management wanted to group all Tea Party-type groups together and develop a form letter to send to all such applicants, rather than considering each case on the merits. Hull advised against that course of action, but his opinion went unheeded. Hull characterized IRS management's actions throughout this entire case as "unusual."



(3) The other first-round witness was Elizabeth Hofacre, a Cincinnati-based IRS veteran of 14 years. She testified that hearing statements from Lois Lerner and White House spokesman Jay Carney blaming the improper targeting on "rogue" and "line" employees in her regional office felt like a "nuclear strike." She said she believes senior agency officials were trying to blame her for carrying out their orders, and expressed the opinion that Lois Lerner was intentionally trying to mislead the public in advancing that narrative. Hofacre said she was assigned dozens of Tea Party applications, all of which were delayed by her superiors. She eventually became so frustrated with the situation that she transferred divisions. Long after she left, many of her Tea Party cases remained in a "holding pattern" and unresolved. An important point:



(4) The best Republican performers were Ohio's Jim Jordan and South Carolina's Trey Gowdy. Jordan engaged both witnesses with focused, rapid-fire questions, leading to some of the information discussed above. Gowdy cataloged the morphing excuses and explanations offered up by IRS management and their political abettors. He also noted that screening groups for political behavior to determine tax status isn't new -- it's been going on for decades on a case-by-case basis. That was standard operating procedure. What makes this situation a scandal were the blanket targeting and delays directed at an entire class of organizations, all of which just happened to be on one side of the political spectrum (the opposite end of the current administration's).

(5) Democrats flogged several points -- beyond the generic attacks on Issa and Republicans, that is. First, that the targeting wasn't politically motivated. This is what many witnesses have said, but it doesn't pass the common sense test. A large majority of Americans understand the political nature of the abuse. Second, new evidence "proves" that liberal groups were also targeted -- an assertion that relies on a totally false equivalency. (This also glosses over the distinction between 501(c)3 and (c)4 organizations). Third, that none of the witnesses they've engaged have stated (or admitted) personal knowledge of interference or direction from the White House or the Obama campaign. These members seemed to think it is somehow dispositive that low-to-mid-level IRS employees weren't personally given marching orders directly from David Axelrod. It's a specious point. Finally, committee Democrats previewed their blistering critiques of the Inspector General, who will testify later today. They will accuse him of cherry-picking facts, carrying water for Republicans, and withholding important information. The IG, Russell George, will defend himself, and Republicans will come to his aid -- even though they've been critical of him on other points. Round two is going to get ugly.


I'll leave you -- for now -- with Chairman Issa's USA Today op/ed explaining why new information definitively ties the IRS scandal to Washington, DC (which the IRS initially denied), and his opening statement from this morning's hearing:
IRS Hearings: Republicans Ask Questions, Democrats Attack Issa - Guy Benson
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: IRS lawyer testifies that political appointee's office involved in Tea Party scre

It's comical that with all this comin' out we gotta hear Obama stand up today and talk about how profiling is horrible. I guess what Obama means is racial profiling is bad. Profiling conservative groups is the American way and patriotic as f**k.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: IRS lawyer testifies that political appointee's office involved in Tea Party scre

For those who are gullible enough to buy into the whole "they targetted liberal groups, too" line of BS:

No, 'Progressive' Groups Weren't Targeted by the IRS Like Conservative Organizations Were - Guy Benson
Quote:
Yesterday's IRS news bulletin was a bit perplexing. It was no real surprise that the agency had used inappropriate 'BOLO' lists more widely and for longer than we'd previously known. Sweeping malfeasance and subsequent dishonesty is par for the course with them at this point. What was intriguing, though, was the apparent revelation that the IRS had also used key words like "progressive" and "occupy" during their screening process. This begged the question, why didn't these facts come to light much earlier? Liberals and the IRS have been eager to tamp down the festering controversy for weeks, all while insisting that the abuse wasn't politically motivated -- a tale few Americans believe. If the wrongful targeting affected both sides of the spectrum, that would have represented solid evidence for the 'innocent incompetence' defense. As I've written previously, pleading ineptitude boosts conservatives' case that the federal government has become too sprawling and unaccountable, but it's still less damaging than leaving a general impression of deliberate partisan malice. Are we to believe that as the latter assumption calcified in the public's imagination, the IRS and its defenders chose not to disclose the other side of the story? Remember, lefty groups had already stated that they weren't targeted, evidence abounds that left-leaning applications sailed through while righty applications languished, the Inspector General's report clearly showed a distinct ideological imbalance, and Stephen Miller conceded under oath that right-leaning groups were exclusively victimized by the practice. The IRS admitted and apologized for their disparate treatment of conservatives, for crying out loud. So why, after all of that, are we finally being informed that liberal groups were ensnared in the scandal, too? National Review's Eliana Johnson cuts through the fog and makes some important distinctions that help illuminate the truth:




Quote:
A November 2010 version of the list obtained by National Review Online, however, suggests that while the list did contain the word “progressive,” screeners were in fact instructed to treat “progressive” groups differently from “tea party” groups. Whereas screeners were merely alerted that a designation of 501(c)(3) status “may not be appropriate” for applications containing the word ”progressive” – 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from conducting any political activities – they were told to send those of tea-party groups off IRS higher-ups for further scrutiny. That means the applications of progressive groups could be approved on the spot by line agents, while those of tea-party groups could not. Furthermore, the November 2010 list noted that tea-party cases were “currently being coordinated with EOT,” which stands for Exempt Organizations Technical, a group of tax lawyers in Washington, D.C. Those of progressive groups were not.

So the terms employed during initial screening processes did include words like "progressive" (although from what we know about the original 'BOLO' lists, they were overwhelmingly skewed toward conservative descriptors), but only conservative applications were marked for additional scrutiny -- including micromanagement from Washington. This abuse led to plainly uneven outcomes along ideological lines, as reported by USA Today:



Quote:
In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois received approval of its tax-exempt status from the IRS in 90 days, no questions asked. That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn't be another Tea Party application approved for 27 months. In that time, the IRS approved perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups, a USA TODAY review of IRS data shows. As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with liberal-sounding names had their applications approved in as little as nine months. With names including words like "Progress" or "Progressive," the liberal groups applied for the same tax status and were engaged in the same kinds of activities as the conservative groups.
Zero Tea Party conservative groups' applications were approved for more than two years, as dozens of lefty groups were rubber-stamped. Yes, it seems as though the word "progressive" appeared on some of those 'BOLO' lists (see update below), but the screening and approval process went on as usual for those groups. Not so for the other side, against whom Beltway managers directed added scrutiny, onerous follow-up questionnaires, and interminable delays. Also bear in mind two other elements of the IRS scandal: The targeting of conservative donors, and the wildly improper (and illegal) leaking of conservative groups' confidential donor lists to their political adversaries. When liberals can provide evidence that the IRS shipped, say, a private roster of Planned Parenthood's donors to the Susan B. Anthony List, then we'll talk. That's a hypothetical. In reality, the IRS was actually instructing pro-life groups not to picket Planned Parenthood clinics under penalty of law, and inquiring as to the contents of their prayers. Some on the Left are seizing on yesterday's developments as "proof" that conservative "conspiracy theories" have at last been debunked, or whatever. Nice try. Johnson's piece, plus reams of additional evidence, belie that spin. I repeat: The IRS apologized for its wrongful actions against conservative groups. It's not a conspiracy theory if the harmed party elicits an apology from the culprit, based on the culprit's own internal review.
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: IRS lawyer testifies that political appointee's office involved in Tea Party scre

The IRS scandal made it to the White House yesterday

Quote:
Despite the best efforts of disgraceful Democrats on the House Oversight Committee to turn yesterday’s hearings into a circus, the adults in the room were indeed able to bring the scandal right up to the White House door.

I’m not kidding about the national disgrace of buffoons like Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking Democrat. They’re like small children running through the committee room, banging pots together and screaming nonsense to keep anyone from noticing that a Barack Obama political appointee just got linked into the criminal conspiracy at the IRS. And now they’re childishly trying to stir up a racial scandal over exasperated House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa comparing Cummings to a “little boy whose hand has been caught in a cookie jar.”

Well, I’ll happily back up Rep. Issa on this. America is going down the tubes because our government is run by an incompetent mob of toddlers who have their hands caught in an awful lot of cookie jars. And I’ll make it bipartisan by noting that not all of the toddlers are Democrats, but it’s getting hard to find an adult among them.

Cummings spent his time asking those famed “low-level employees from Cincinnati” if they’d ever received a personal phone call from President Obama instructing them to persecute Tea Party groups. This drove Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) around the bend, prompting him to unleash an epic rant against the obstructionist Democrats:


Yesterday’s hearings brought the final demise of all the Administration’s distractions and evasions. As Chaffetz reminds us, the lie about rogue low-level agents came from the White House, through its official spokesman. There have been attempts to fog the issue by claiming progressive groups were hassled, too. There have been efforts to wish the scandal away by saying it was just a few Obama-loving goofballs who took the President’s endless harangues against his political opponents too seriously. All of that died forever yesterday.

To build on something Rep. Chaffetz said, it’s funny how Democrats always claim they’re in favor of the “little guy,” but they’re always quick to throw little guys under the bus to protect the Democrat Party aristocracy from scandal. The White House was happy to hang hard-working IRS agents out to dry. They understandably responded by saying they were just following orders, and they started naming names. One of those names was Carter Hull, a top IRS lawyer. And as Peggy Noonan writes at the Wall Street Journal, Hull brought a new name into the mix: IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, who is “one of the only two Obama political appointees in the IRS.”
The IRS scandal made it to the White House yesterday | Human Events
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: IRS lawyer testifies that political appointee's office involved in Tea Party scre

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Originally Posted by 40yearfan View Post
Well, well, what have we here? It looks like the IRS scandal is now firmly pointing to Washington DC and one of the only two IRS employees that Obama can appoint. A top Obama appointee. I wonder how the left is going to try and spin this to say Obama wasn't involved?



Read more: IRS lawyer testifies that political appointee's office involved in Tea Party screening | Fox News
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: IRS lawyer testifies that political appointee's office involved in Tea Party scre

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Originally Posted by saltwn View Post
Yes, you do need to be worried about this. It's something you won't be able to use your normal excuse for. Obama appointed this guy to the IRS, so he is personally responsible for him.
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