IRS officials in Washington were involved in targeting of conservative groups - The Washington Post
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, 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, the documents show.“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 who sought to communicate with IRS headquarters about the delay in granting tax-exempt status to True the Vote.
Moreover, details of the IRS’s efforts to target conservative groups reached the highest levels of the agency in May 2012, far earlier than has been disclosed, according to Republican congressional aides briefed by the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) on the details of their reviews.Its just some dudes in Cincy. The IRS wasnt doing this! Suuuure they weren't. There is blood in the water on this one, expect the leaks to become a lot larger and more detailed as this goes on.In a June 3, 2011, letter to the IRS, Mitchell questioned the agency’s motivations for delaying recognition of one of her clients who had filed nearly two years earlier, writing, “Is the [group’s] opposition to Obamacare and the takeover of America’s healthcare system by the government the reason that this application has been held up and not approved?”
Catherine Engelbrecht, president of the Houston-based True the Vote, first filed for tax-exempt status in July 2010. At one point, Engelbrecht — who is still awaiting a determination from the IRS regarding her voting rights organization and a separate tea party group, King Street Patriots — said an IRS employee informed her: “I’m just doing what Washington is telling me to do. I’m just asking what they want me to ask.”