IRS ADMITS ATTACKING CONSERVATIVES AND TEA PARTY GROUPS
NWV News Writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
May 12, 2013
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The powerful Treasury Department's tax-collecting and enforcement agency, the Internal Revenue Services (IRS), conceded on Friday that its agents targeted conservative PACs and Tea Party groups for politically-motivated audits during the 2012 election.
The Obama White House claims that it has called for a full investigation into the complaints.
According to the director of the IRS' department overseeing tax-exempt organizations, Lois Lerner, employees at an IRS office in Ohio began a probe of organizations using the terms "patriot" or "Tea Party." IRS agents conducted politically-motivated reviews during the 2012 elections, including the presidential race, to see if conservative groups were violating their tax-exempt status.
However, Lerner backed away from her original statement and told reporters that the decision to conduct the probe was not partisan, just an "error in judgment," by low-level employees who were "less sensitive that they should have been about the impact this [harassment] might have on the Obama-Romney race and other elections in November 2012.
"We made some mistakes. We apologize," said Lerner.
"Mistakes? Writing a wrong number or name on a tax form is a mistake. Sending agents with the power to violate a person's or group's privacy is harassment at best, out-and-out criminal use of intimidation at worst," political strategist Mike Bakker told the Law Enforcement Examiner.
Many Republicans were angry about the announcement and its timing since Friday is considered a day in which few Americans pay attention to the news.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately responded to Lerner's announcement and, like many conservatives, he said that the IRS's announcement was proof that allegations made by conservative groups were "well-founded."
White House Spokesman Jay Carney said during his regular briefing Friday that IRS' conduct was "inappropriate," and the matter was already under investigation.
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But many conservatives are demanding that the White House conduct a "transparent, government-wide review," and not the usual cover-up as seen in the Benghazi and Fast and Furious scandals.
According to the acclaimed talk show host and attorney, Mark Levin, his public-interest group Landmark Legal Foundation had been probing the IRS's investigations of conservative and Tea Party groups.
Levin said that the IRS dispatched agents to commit "outrageous" investigations of groups and citizens who oppose the Obama administration and agenda.
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