We all knew that the bottom line of the IRS scandal was that the agency was engaging in viewpoint discrimination, targeting groups whose philosophy differed with the Obama administration. Now thanks to Judicial Watch we have proof…from their own hands.
The latest release from the watchdog group announced it had received 1593 pages of new documents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from its Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit against the agency. Included in the pile of documents were handwritten notes from a 2011 interoffice meeting that revealed a top IRS official admitting the famous Cincinnati office was targeting organizations requesting tax exempt status based on “guilt by association” and “party affiliation.” According to former IRS Director of the Office of Rulings and Agreements Holly Paz, “they think they know what the org is really doing, rather than looking at actual activities.”
Included in the newly obtained IRS documents were handwritten notesfrom an unidentified source at an interoffice meeting in the Washington headquarters, which apparently took place in or around August 2011. According to an IRS court filing provided to Judicial Watch by the IRS, the notes were part of information taken from “four Chief Counsel employees (Victoria Judson, Janine Cook, Susan Brown, and Don Spellmann), Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division employee Nalee Park, and former IRS employee Sarah Hall Ingram.” The notes reveal Paz’ concerns about the Cincinnati office’s targeting of groups based upon ideology and party affiliation:
Holly – Cinci paralyzed by letting any issue go unaddressed. They think they know what the org is really doing, rather than looking at actual activities. Q’s were not activity based, but guilt by association questions – like q’s asking party affiliations …
They see approval of something that will turn out to be very bad org – terrified of that – that’s why they personally will need to have power to say yes. Agents felt if they could ask enough questions, they will find a problem. Agents were jumping to negative conclusions and assumptions – particularly where relationship with political groups or affiliations.