The abuses by the IRS targeting political opposition during the Obama era are about to come to an end. The WSJ reports:
President Donald Trump will nominate Charles Rettig, a California tax lawyer, to run the Internal Revenue Service, a person familiar with the matter said Monday.
If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Rettig will take one of the most thankless jobs in Washington.
According to the WSJ’s James Freeman, during Obama’s tenure, the tax agency targeted conservative organizations for exceptional scrutiny and even harassment.
Last year the IRS settled lawsuits brought by organizations that had been mistreated simply because they advocated for limited Constitutional government. The government shelled out millions of dollars to settle one suit involving 428 organizations, according to an October report in the New York Times. In a separate case brought by different organizations, an apology for the IRS’s egregious conduct was enough to resolve the litigation.
A 2013 treasury inspector general’s audit, as reported by the NYT, found that groups with names that included Tea Party or Patriot received more scrutiny over their applications for tax-exempt status.
President Obama placed John Koskinen as head of the agency after the 2013 IRS scandal. But as the Journal reports, when Congress instructed Koskinin to turn over all emails related to Lois Lerner, who ran the IRS Exempt Organizations division, he made little or no effort to preserve or track those communications. A few weeks after the subpoena, “IRS employees in West Virginia erased 422 backup tapes, destroying up to 24,000 Lerner emails.”
In a 2014 Forbes magazine article, Tom Basil reported:
Last week a senior United States Senator gave a speech stating that the IRS should be used to target and punish groups that disagree with the Democratic Party’s political agenda. Sen. Chuck Schumer stated, “…there are many things that can be done administratively by the IRS and other government agencies — we must redouble those efforts immediately.” Schumer was also one of a number of Democrat Senators who signed a 2012 letter to the IRS demanding they be more aggressive against conservative organizations. Sure, it was a story in primarily conservative media for a couple of days but no coordinated action between Republican elected officials and the conservative grassroots against Chuck Schumer is being contemplated. The Senate should be censuring him for suggesting that the IRS be used as a political weapon against conservative organizations. Americans, however, should be calling for his head.
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