Listen closely. Do you hear that? It’s the drip…drip…drip of information slowly but surely coming out about the IRS and other Obama Scandals. The latest information comes from Jay Sekulow of Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, (American Center for Law and Justice) .
The ACLJ is filing a lawsuit today against the IRS on behalf of 27 different tea party and other conservative issue advocacy organizations. Sekulow says the groups’ contacts with the IRS prove that the practices went beyond a few “front line” employees in the Cincinnati office, as the IRS has maintained nor did targeting end in mid 2012 as the official narrative claims.
“We’ve dealt with 15 agents, including tax law specialists — that’s lawyers — from four different offices, including (the) Treasury (Department) in Washington, D.C.,” Sekulow told NBC news. “So the idea that this is a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati is not correct.
The IRS claims the practice ended in May 2012, but Sekulow provided NBC News with a letter the IRS sent to one of his clients on May 6th of this year requesting more information (letter embedded below). He also said 10 of his 27 clients are still waiting for approval by the IRS. The letter contains 22 questions in 10 parts, including a demand for ‘copies of course material’ for the group’s one-on-one mentoring with high school and college students.
Sekulow, is well aware of the workings of the IRS as he was the chief counsel of the IRS in the early 1980s representing the IRS on tax-exempt cases, he said said the number of groups he’s heard from, and the scope of the requests for information the IRS sent them, persuaded him “that this was not something that was just created at an agent level, that this was certainly higher up.”
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Cleta Mitchell, another attorney representing conservative groups that allege they were targeted, said an IRS agent in Cincinnati told her a “task force” IRS office in Washington, D.C., was making the decisions about the processing of applications, and that she subsequently dealt with IRS representatives there.
“(The IRS agent in Cincinnati) told me that in fact the case would be transferred to a special task force out of Washington, and that he was told – he was the originally assigned agent – that he wasn’t allowed to make decisions, the decisions were all going to be made in Washington,” Mitchell said. “I know that this process was going on in Washington because I’ve dealt with those people.”
One of Mitchell’s clients, Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote, a conservative elections monitoring organization, applied for tax-exempt status for the group in July 2010. She said that when she asked the IRS two years later why it was taking so long to get a decision, agents told her Washington was to blame.
“We’ve dealt with four separate analysts and their explanation for the way our case has been handled runs the gamut from their not having another organization like True the Vote to compare to – so they had to develop new questions and new criteria — all the way through to the fact that they were taking their orders from Washington and were waiting for Washington’s direction as to what steps to take next,” she said. “They were caught up in a process that seemed to be much bigger than Cincinnati and bigger than any single individual.”
It wasn’t just True the Vote, Engelbrecht said that soon after she filed for tax-exempt status for the new organization, the IRS audited her personal and business taxes for the first time, and her manufacturing business was visited by two other federal agencies, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Folks as ugly as this scandal is right now its about to get much uglier. When you add this latest news to the fact the Attorney General is being investigated for lying to congress about the AP/James Rosen scandal, Rep. Issa has subpenaed additional Benghazi records from the State Department, and the contempt charges against Holder for the Fast & Furious cover-up are still in play, this administration is may be dealing with “scandalpalooza” for years not weeks.
PS: Jay Sekulow adds:
As we file one of the largest lawsuits we have ever filed to protect the free speech rights of countless Americans, take action with us. Sign the petition to stop the IRS abuse.