The latest revelation dug up by Judicial Watch (that will be ignored by most major news organizations) shows that FBI documents reveal the IRS used fake bureaucratic delays to stall tax exemption applications by conservative groups trying to unseat President Barack Obama’s in his reelection bid. The tax collection agency was actively working to influence the outcome of the election.
The documents, obtained by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, show tea party bids weren’t even evaluated, the were automatically denied approval. They were assigned to a special “Group 7822” for an extended “inventory” process all the way up to the 2012 general election.
One IRS manager in Cincinnati interviewed by the FBI reported that “Group 7822” was simply a place for the tea party cases to be held in inventory while guidance from the agency’s Washington office was received. But, according to the documents, there had been no precedence previously on these issues. If the case said it supports politics and political activity, it would be put into “Group 7822,” the documents reveal.
According to the 105 new pages of documents released by Judicial Watch:
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Beginning in 2010 and lasting through the Obama reelection campaign in 2012, the Obama IRS orchestrated a deliberate policy of burying conservative groups’ tax exemption applications in bureaucratic delays. Interviews with numerous Cincinnati IRS employees in mid-2013 reveal that “Tea Party” group applications were automatically denied approval and assigned to a special “Group 7822” for an extended “inventory” process while waiting for decisions from IRS headquarters in Washington, DC. One IRS manager “asked why progressive cases were not segregated similar to the Tea Party cases, but she did not get any satisfactory answers.” FBI “302” documents are detailed narratives of FBI investigation interviews. The Obama Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.
One IRS Cincinnati office group manager interviewed in 7/13 explained:
Group 7822 was composed of 12 to 15 people and was simply a place for the Tea Party cases to be held in inventory while the agent waited to receive guidance from the Washington office. There had been no precedence previously on these issues. If the case said it supports politics and political activity, it would be put into Group 7822. [Redacted] and then [Redacted] held the cases in inventory.
A second Cincinnati Group Manager in Cincinnati interviewed at the same time told confirmed the story told by the first Mgr. and threw the DC IRS headquarters under the bus:
In the 14-month period when [Redacted] had the cases, he would ask for updates on guidance and was told they were still waiting on DC. He recalls receiving emails with contradictory guidance on whether the 501-c-3 or 501-c-4 cases should be denied. It was his understanding that a team would come and work the Tea Party cases when the guidance was provided … Nobody told him directly where the delay was in resolving the Tea Party issue. DC is like a black hole.
The reason for the delays was to insure that the applications would not be approved until after the 2012 election. To aid in the delays the IRS relied on what they called a multi-tier “bucketing” system “that determined from the time an application was received whether it would be quickly approved or indefinitely delayed.”
The first bucket – the “incomplete bucket” – automatically kicked the application back to the applicant because of missing documents. The second bucket – the “merit close” – meant the application met all the criteria and was quickly approved. The third and fourth buckets meant that other issues needed to be addressed by the applicant. According to FBI interviews with Cincinnati agency employees, top Washington IRS officials issued directives making certain that no BOLO (Be on the Look Out) Tea Party applications could be put in the “merit closed” bucket.
As another Cincinnati agency official told the FBI “If an item was on the BOLO list, that case could not be merit closed by the screeners/classifiers. [Emphasis added] A Cincinnati Grade 13 Revenue Agent explained to the FBI how this ended a Tea Party group’s hopes for early, or perhaps even eventual, IRS approval”
[Redacted] saw a few applications that were Tea Party cases and he sent them to a special group to work. [Redacted] identified cases by seeing if they had the Tea Party name or had verbiage that lined up with the Tea Party beliefs. If he saw this, he sent it for development because he knew he could not approve the case.
“IRS officials described for the FBI unlawful and purposeful bureaucratic delays orchestrated by top IRS officials in Washington, DC ,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “One IRS official details how concerns about the Obama IRS targeting of conservatives were ignored. We hope a future Justice Department follows up on this information in a renewed criminal investigation.”
Judicial Watch previously released 294 pages of FBI 302 documents revealing that top Washington IRS officials, including Lois Lerner, who was interviewed in June 2013 and again in October 2013, knew that the agency was specifically targeting Tea Party and other conservative organizations two full years before disclosing it to Congress and the public. Of course when the Obama Justice Department and the Obama FBI investigated the Obama IRS they determined that no criminal charges were warranted.
The IRS scandal is over three years old and but despite the revelations there is no hope that we will ever see people pay for their crimes, and/or reimburse the organizations that were harmed. There is even less hope that the mainstream media will even cover this story.