Even as the Democrats are desperately trying to gin up stories about ties between Donald Trump and the Russians, it is fitting that we get a reminder about real presidential scandals with the sudden admission from what is essentially still Obama’s Internal Revenue Service that they suddenly “found” over 6,000 documents in its corruption case from 2013. Worse, it appears the IRS did not include these 6,000 documents in its submission to Congress in 2015.
With this new revelation, we are reminded of the scandal of Obama’s IRS using its power in an attempt to destroy the conservative groups that were Obama’s political opponents. If you’ll recall, the IRS was caught forcing conservative groups to jump through a multitude of hoops to win a tax status costing those groups tens of thousands in attorney fees and all the while liberals groups were given near immediate clearance saving them thousands and allowing them to get on with their political activism in short order.
BREAKING NEWS → Judicial Watch Obtains 695 Pages of Obama IRS Scandal Documents. [First Batch of 7,000-Page Cache] https://t.co/Tsncn9ECfo
— Judicial Watch 🔎 (@JudicialWatch) April 4, 2017
The new documents were revealed to conservative Washington watchdog group Judicial Watch. The documents are part of the group’s continuing effort, started back in 2013, to ferret out all of the illegal actions perpetrated by Obama’s taxing agency.
On Monday, the group’s chief, Tom Fitton, published a statement noting that the IRS was in receipt of a new batch of 695 documents in the scandal, documents the IRS never handed over when Congress required the agency to do so during its 2015 investigation into Obama’s illegal activities.
These never before seen documents are part of a huge cache of over 6,000 documents, all of which apparently were never given to Congress as required. Further, the tax agency refused to inform Judicial Watch when it might release the other six thousand pages.
This foot dragging has been going on for four years, now. And I can’t stress this enough — the IRS has clearly thumbed its nose at Congress by hiding thousands of documents from our elected officials and their investigations.
In an op-ed at Breitbart, Fitton explained the release.
The corruption at the IRS is astounding. Our attorneys knew that there were more records to be searched, but the Obama IRS ignored this issue for years.
Remember that in July 2015, we released Obama IRS documents confirming that the agency used donor lists of tax-exempt organizations to target those donors for audits. The documents also show that IRS officials specifically highlighted how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce may come under “high scrutiny” from the IRS.
In September 2014, another JW FOIA lawsuit forced the release of documents detailing that the IRS sought, obtained, and maintained the names of donors to tea party and other conservative groups. IRS officials acknowledged in these documents that “such information was not needed.” The documents also show that the donor names were being used for a “secret research project.”
On its webpage, Judicial Watch has a lot more of the technical information surrounding the case. But, among the new materials is a memo from June 20, 2013 from Karen Schiller, then an acting-director of the IRS. The document showed her order to suspend the use of the controversial “Be on the Lookout” (BOLO) list that was used to identify the conservative groups Obama wanted stymied as well as the “Touch and Go” (TAG) list used to fast track liberal groups.
Another document shows Schiller admitting that the IRS used a label system to damage conservative groups. And more documents shows that “IRS officials essentially bribed groups and offered tax exempt status in exchange for limited political activity. In other words, limiting opposition to President Obama’s agenda.”
“No wonder the Obama IRS has been hiding these records. The new smoking-gun documents contain admissions by the Obama IRS that it inappropriately targeted conservative groups,” Tom Fitton said in a statement. “But the records also show that the abuse continued – as the Obama IRS tried to force conservative applicants to give up their First Amendment rights in order to finally get their applications granted.”
And yet, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, the same Obama official who covered up the IRS targeting scandal to shield former IRS official Lois Lerner, is still in charge of the IRS under President Trump!
In an op-ed published by The Hill newspaper, Tea Party Patriots chief Jenny Beth Martin reminded America of the “chilling effect” of the “insidious” and oppressive government actions that force Americans to “self-police” their own conduct in order to stay out of trouble with Washington, essentially destroying their own freedoms and liberties in the process.
“The years-long IRS scandal surrounding its abuse of power when it engaged in a systematic targeting of conservatives is a powerful example of the government’s ability to initiate a chilling effect on free speech,” Martin wrote.
As the co-founder and leader of the nation’s largest tea party organization, I can attest to the harm caused by the IRS’s targeting scandal. Throughout the summer of 2013, my staff and I interviewed more than 1,000 individuals and tea party groups to understand their personal situations and how the targeting had affected them. The stories we heard were both extraordinary and emotional.
Martin ended with a suitable warning.
Two hallmarks of a free society are that individuals do not have to live in fear that their political views or activities will cause them to be subjected to abuse by the federal taxing agency, and that the press holds government accountable when it becomes abusive to its citizens. It seems, in both areas, we have a lot more work to do.
Martin is right, and this release of more damning documents showing Obama’s corrupt actions reminds us that we have to stay vigilant. It also reminds us that President Donald Trump still has thousands of deep state, corrupt Obama operatives to erase from our government.