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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Is it time for a special prosecutor?

In an earth-shaking confession, an IRS agent has confessed that the agency is still targeting conservative groups, three months after being caught and investigated for doing the same. Congress has made clear that the targeting is inappropriate and likely illegal.

Americans are angry the IRS has engaged in profiling and harassment of non-profit organizations.

Americans are angry the IRS has engaged in profiling and harassment of non-profit organizations.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: IRS, harassment, Tea Party, questions, investigation, Obama


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Testimony released by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, shows that an agent responsible for reviewing tax exempt applications from conservative groups confessed that the agency is still targeting Tea Party groups.

The unidentified agent provided the testimony in closed door proceedings before the Ways and Means Committee. According to his testimony, Tea Party applications are sent into a second screening process, something that is not normally done simply based on affiliation.

The second screening is ostensibly for "political advocacy."

This exchange was included in the transcript.

Ways and means investigator: "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 there was no evidence of political activity, would you potentially approve that case? Is that something you would do?"

IRS agent: "At this point I would send it to secondary screening, political advocacy."

Investigator: "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?"

Agent: "Based on my current manager's direction, uh-huh."

Following the testimony, a committee aide said, "In plain English, the IRS is still targeting Tea Party cases."

Three months ago, it was admitted that the IRS had issued directions to agents to be on the lookout for tax exempt applications that contained words like "Tea Party" or "patriot." Organizations with such labels were to be sent for a special second screening, on the concern that they could be engaging in inappropriate political activities.

The second screening however, turned out to be ridiculous and likely illegal, given the literal harassment of applicant groups. Individuals were asked to provide the text of speeches, lists of books they were reading, and a variety of impossible questions to answer.

The controversy sparked a Congressional investigation as well as the resignation of then acting head of the IRS, Danny Werfel.

Despite this, it appears the powers that be haven't learned their lesson. The investigation continue and some suspect that the Obama administration itself is responsible. President Obama denied knowledge of the policy until he saw it on the nightly news, although it was admitted that his chief of staff was himself aware of the policy.

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