No smoking gun, but report shows Obama 'gave cues' for IRS to attack Tea Party orgs
What does it take to hold an executive responsible for ethical behavior in office?
It appears the truth may be out about Obama's involvement in the IRS Tea party scandal. Surprisingly, there is no smoking gun of an executive order or any such document, however IRS officials have gone on record admitting they took specific cues from Obama and other leading Democrats.
According to the statements, the Tea Party applications were singled out because "they were likely to attract media attention." Specifically, if these groups attained tax exempt status, they could communicate their message to the media and cost Obama votes.
The report says, "As prominent politicians publicly urged the IRS to take action on tax-exempt groups engaged in legal campaign intervention activities, the IRS treated tea party applications differently. Applications filed by tea party groups were identified and grouped due to media attention surrounding the existence of the tea party in general."
The report suggests that IRS agents were "taking cues" from Obama and other leading Democrats. This leaves two questions. First, how did they know they should take cues? There is nothing in the IRS manuals which suggest that executives of the agency should follow anything except for the law and explicit directives.
Second, is there more evidence out there that could prove that more than "cues" were used to direct IRS policy?
Democrats have countered, saying that left-leaning tax-exempt organizations were also targeted for extra scrutiny, however proof of this has been paltry at best. Nor did the IRS testimony suggest that left-leaning groups were ever part of the targeting program. Only Tea Party groups were targeted.
Although there is no direct link between the Oval Office and the IRS scandal other than "cues" it certainly hints at a blatant attempt by the Obama administration to control the flow of speech in the public forum by underhanded means.
Do we really need to find a smoking gun to hold our executive leadership responsible for ethical behavior?
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