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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Timeline- IRS Official Lois Lerner Arranged The Planted Question That Set Off Whole IRS Scandal

By Susan Duclos

On May 10, 2013, Lois G. Lerner, the IRS official who oversees tax-exempt groups, apologized for inappropriately targeting conservative groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names, validating claims by conservatives, dating back to 2010, yet the IRS had denied doing so. They had also denied the targeting to Congress, when asked about it.

Washington Post reported Lerner's apology:

 It was not clear whether the IRS had anticipated the firestorm that it would ignite with its disclosure. Indeed, it appeared to have happened by chance when Lerner, appearing Friday at a conference held by the American Bar Association, responded to a question about the allegations by conservative groups.

In the last eight days since that apology was publicly made, information has been coming out so fast, each piece so explosive, that keeping up in just trying to report it all has become a challenge.

One week after the Washington Post wrote that the firestorm "appeared to have happened by chance when Lerner, appearing Friday at a conference held by the American Bar Association," and responded to a question,  it is reported, then confirmed, that "chance" wasn't involved at all, Lerner had the question planted in the audience to attempt to manage the timing of the revelation.

“On May 9, I received a call from Lois Lerner, who told me that she wanted to address an issue after her prepared remarks at the ABA Tax Section’s Exempt Organizations Committee Meeting, and asked if I would pose a question to her after her remarks," Roady said in the statement, obtained by TPM. "I agreed to do so, and she then gave me the question that I asked at the meeting the next day. We had no discussion thereafter on the topic of the question, nor had we spoken about any of this before I received her call. She did not tell me, and I did not know, how she would answer the question.”

Speaking of timing the release, it was also revealed yesterday by  NBC's Lisa Myers, then confirmed while Congress was grilling IRS commissioner Steven Miller, that he knew what was going on for at least a year prior.

They withheld the information from Congress, from the American people and made a deliberate choice to come clean, after the 2012 presidential election.

According to the  Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Report Showing Inappropriate Targeting of Conservatives, said targeting of conservatives had been part of the process since 2010.

Not only did the IRS deliberately hide what they were systematically doing, but they also took deliberate action to cover it up when they responded to a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) in 2010 through investigative journalist Lynn K. Walsh seeking all IRS documents related to the agencies tax-exempt division specifically mentioning the Tea Party.

In January 2011, Marie A. Twarog, Disclosure Manager, Headquarters (HQ) Disclosure Ofiice, sent a response which read "I found no documents specifically responsive to your request."

Letter embedded below:

As Washington Free Beacon points out, the IG report, linked above, found that the “first Sensitive Case Report [identifying Tea Party groups] was prepared by the Technical Unit” in April of 2010.

 As I myself pointed out on May 11, 2013, and others are also pointing out, it was not just Tea Party and Patriot groups that were targeted. Romney donors who were publicly listed on Barack Obama's website and pro-Israel groups, were also being targeted. Pro-Life organizations were also being targeted, subsequent reports show.

Other information that has come out since that May 10, 2013, answer to a planted question, includes but is not limited to;

• The White House counsel was reportedly informed back in April, yet Barack Obama claimed he "first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this.  I think it was on Friday [May 10].

• The IRS was not the Obama administration agency showing systematic bias against conservatives, the EPA was making decisions on whether to waive FOIA fees based on a groups politics, with groups matching Obama's politics having their fees waived and groups with opposing views being charged those fees.

• Despite claims that the targeting of conservatives was blamed on “front-line people” working in Cincinnati, Washington Post reported on May 13, 2013, that "Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved with investigating conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, making clear that the effort reached well beyond the branch in Cincinnati that was initially blamed."

 • The IRS also tried to claim, and still insists, that the whole situation was caused by two "rogue" workers in the Cincinnati who were "off the reservation," but reports show that at least four have been identified and according to sources, these four IRS workers claim "they simply did what their bosses ordered." [Update] Washington Post confirms- "Everything comes from the top. We don’t have any authority to make those decisions without someone signing off on them. There has to be a directive." [End Update]

• The initial IRS claims that the targeting occurred  because of a "surge" in applications after the Supreme Court's Citizen United decision, has also been shown as a direct lie, since applications actually decreased at that time.

• Liberal billionaire George Soros has reportedly given $6.1 million to groups and organizations that pressured IRS to target conservatives non-profits.

• The first resignation supposedly insisted on by the Obama administration, in response to this scandal, was the acting commissioner of the IRS, Steve Miller, but by the next day ABC News reported that according to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, his 210-day term would have set his last day in that post as June 8, 2013, anyway.

• The second resignation "demanded" was from Joseph Grant, commissioner of the agency's tax exempt and government entities division, but Grant was only appointed to that position on May 8, 2013 and was not running that division at the time of the targeting from 2010 to 2012.

• The woman running the agency'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.

This makes every "action" taken by the Obama administration in response to the IRS targeting of conservatives, nothing but a farce and political theater to convince the American people that the administration is doing something about it.

Both Lois Lerner and  Sarah Hall Ingram are still working for the administration being paid by the very people they have lied to, lied about and targeted.

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