Report: Conservative Groups Were Targeted by IRS Officials in Washington

So much for the low-level employees in Cincinnati defense.

Via the Washington Post:

Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved in the targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, making clear the effort reached well beyond the branch in Cincinnati that was initially blamed, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

IRS officials at the agency’s Washington headquarters sent queries to conservative groups asking about their donors and other aspects of their operations, while officials in the El Monte and Laguna Niguel offices in California sent similar questionnaires to tea party-affiliated groups.

IRS employees in Cincinnati also told conservatives seeking the status of “social welfare” groups that a task force in Washington was overseeing their applications, according to interviews with the activists.

Lois G. Lerner, who oversees tax-exempt groups for the IRS, told reporters on Friday the “absolutely inappropriate” actions were undertaken by “front-line people” working in Cincinnati to target groups with “tea party,” “patriot” or “9/12” in their names.

In one instance, however, Ron Bell, an IRS employee, informed an attorney representing a conservative group focused on voter fraud that the application was under review in Washington. On several other occasions, IRS officials in D.C. and California sent detailed questionnaires to conservative groups asking more than a dozen questions about their voter outreach and other activities, according to the documents.

“For the IRS to say it was some low-level group in Cincinnati is simply false,” said Cleta Mitchell, a partner in the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP who sought to communicate with IRS headquarters about the delay in granting tax-exempt status to True the Vote.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to take a look at some of the more inappropriate, probing questions being saved for conservative groups, please visit the Gateway Pundit.  There, you’ll find a rundown of actual questions posed to an Ohio Tea Party group, including requests for copies of Facebook and Twitter correspondences, printouts of all web site pages, and the resumes of all officers and board members.

Also, veteran reporter Larry Connors is claiming that the IRS started harassing him after a particularly hard-hitting interview he conducted with the President.

This is a big deal, folks.  So much so that Fox’s Bill O’Reilly has predicted that if the President is involved in this scandal “he’ll be impeached”.

What do you think?

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