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Friday, May 24, 2013

ACLJ Publishes Letters Signed By Lois Lerner Showing Direct Involvement In IRS Targeting Conservatives

By Susan Duclos

[Update- May 29, 2013] NBC News is now reporting on the letters ACLJ has published, coming from upper level IRS management, blowing away the claim that the conservative targeting was done by lower level employees.

Original Post below- from May 24, 2013

Despite her claims to the contrary, Lois Lerner,  the head of the exempt organizations division of the IRS (now on administrative leave) was directly involved in the active targeting of conservatives by the IRS and ACLJ has published  followup letters, signed by Lois Lerner, as well as examples of the original requests for additional information that was deemed "inappropriate" by the Treasury Inspector General's report.

Consider the timeline. We now know through her own testimony and from the Inspector General's report that Lerner was briefed about this unlawful targeting scheme in June 2011. But nine months later, beginning in March 2012, she sent cover letters to many of our clients - demanding additional information and forwarding intrusive questionnaires. In fact, in March and April of 2012, Lerner sent 15 letters to 15 different clients (including those who were approved after lengthy delays and those who are still pending).

This letter dated March 16, 2012 sent to the Ohio Liberty Council is representative of the other letters that Lerner sent to our clients. This letter, posted here, was sent on letterhead out of the IRS office in Cincinnati. The cover letter bears Lerner's signature, who runs the Exempt Organizations division out of the Washington, DC office. It includes more invasive and improper questions about membership of the group and demands information about all public events conducted or planned for the future. And it specifically requested information about the organization's website, Facebook page, and other social media outlets.

The ACLJ also provides proof  contrary to claims by the IRS and the White House, the conservative targeting did not end in May of 2012, but continued until May 6, 2013 - just four days before Lerner admitted to the targeting scheme. The ACLJ provides one of the 26 IRS questionnaires sent to 18 clients during the past year, and below that is the followup letter dated May 6, 2013.

The May 6, 2013 followup letter starts on page 8 of the PDF embedded below. Beneath the letters below is an image showing what the requests for additional information looked like prior to 2010 when the targeting began.

Below is an example provided in a Memorandum written by Cleta Mitchell, Esq, from Foley & Lardner, LLP, an attorney who has practiced in the area of non-profits and exempt organizations for many years. showing what the requests for information were in 2009, before the IRS targeting of conservative groups began.

The full memorandum is 42 pages and provides further examples of the IRS targeting of conservatives as well as proof of direct lies told to congress in their investigative hearings into this matter.

Foley concludes:

TIGTA, Congress and others must obtain internal communications and correspondence from the IRS and interview IRS employees and agents under oath. That should not be delegated to the Department of Justice, which has also been criticized by its Inspector General for unlawful 'ideological and political' considerations in official decision-making.

From the targeting to arranging to have a question planted, which has been confirmed by the initial questioner,  to the followup letters sent bearing Lois Lerner's name, she has had an active role in the targeting itself, yet she has not been fired from her position, she is simply on "administrative leave," which generally means the taxpayers are still paying her.

Let us not forget for one second that the woman running the IRS's tax exempt and government entities division from 2009 to 2012, when the targeting was happening, was Sarah Hall Ingram, and ABC News reports she is now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office.

Full Wake up America coverage on the IRS scandal can be found here.

(Corrections and updates have been made to this article)