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FBI Starts Criminal Probe of IRS
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In a possibly unprecedented move, on Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the FBI to launch a criminal investigation into the targeting of conservative political groups by IRS, which has grown into a full blown scandal.

The IRS has already openly apologized for targeting conservative groups with titles including terms like “Tea Party,” or “patriot” for extra scrutiny of applications for tax exemptions during the run up years to the presidential elections.

Also organizations that “criticized how the country is run,” “were focused on challenging the Affordable Care Act,” “questioned the integrity of federal elections,” or “supported Israel,” were targeted in general. (See Wikipedia: IRS-Tea_Party_Investigation)

  
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According to WSJ, the IRS even targeted groups that lobbied to “make America a better place to live.”

I’m gaining a greater insight into the term “Banana Republic.”

According to admissions of the IRS head, at least 25 percent of flagged applications had “tea party” in their titles.

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Conservative funds inflow being hamstrung in the relevant election years, and the deed done and over with, the IRS claims its actions were not politically biased and blames everything on low-level employees.

Considering that unless the unthinkable happens, there’s not going to be any new presidential elections soon and the need to exercise political bias over tax-exempt status of organizations and control the flow of funds into political campaigns is no more a priority – admission and apologies from the IRS were rather easy.



The IRS also said it has put into place a system where such lumping together of applications for extra-scrutiny would require approval from superior officers – indicating that this would not have happened had superior officers been in the know.

However, as the Wall Street Journal reported (Wider Problems Found at IRS, updated May 12) “a high-ranking IRS official knew as early as mid-2011 that conservative groups were being inappropriately targeted—nearly a year before then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told a congressional committee the agency wasn’t targeting conservative groups.”

Which means superior officers were well in the know of what was going on.

Everyone is trying to distance themselves from the scandal as soon as possible.

The White House had no inkling of the matter and President Obama is outraged at why the IRS hamstrung the flow of funds to the coffers of his opponents during those vital election and pre-election years.

The President has gone on record saying “The federal government must conduct itself in a way that’s worthy of the public’s trust, and that’s especially true for the IRS. The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act with utmost integrity. This report shows that some of its employees failed that test.”

The President, of course, would be aware that only last month, at least 24 IRS employees expected to “act with utmost integrity,” were indicted in Tennessee for illegally stealing jobless benefits, while being fully employed. In that case, U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III went on record saying, “According to the allegations in the indictment, while these IRS employees were supposed to be serving the public, they were instead brazenly stealing from law-abiding American taxpayers.”

So much for the “integrity”.

But reports need to be created and commissions and investigations made, and the Attorney General has asked for a criminal probe in the matter. Which is all very good provided things work out as indicated by the WSJ: “On Sunday, a government official said the report (Inspector General’s) will note … that no one outside the IRS was involved ….”



 

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