IRS officials visited White House more than 100 times during targeting
More grist for the conspiracy mill - except the way this thing is going, conspiracy may be the least of our worries.
Top IRS officials, whose agency was under investigation for targeting conservative groups, visited the Obama White House more than 100 times over two years while the probe was going on, far more often than in previous administrations and frequently enough that Republicans suspect White House officials knew about the targeting.
Lawmakers now investigating the Internal Revenue Service practice zeroed in on those nearly weekly White House meetings to determine whether an IRS official -- or someone higher up in the administration -- had approved the targeting and whether it was politically motivated.
The frequent meetings also raised questions about the White House's claims that it couldn't have instigated the targeting of conservative groups because it took a hands-off approach to the tax agency, going so far as to describe it as independent of the administration even though it's part of the Treasury Department.
Former Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Doug Shulman visited the White House 118 times between 2010 and 2011. Acting Director Steven Miller, who took over at the IRS in November, also made numerous visits to the White House, though variations in the spelling of his name in White House visitor logs makes it difficult to determine exactly how many times.
The frequent trips to the White House under Obama far outnumbered the times other administrations felt the need to meet with the IRS, according to Mark Everson, who led the IRS under former President George W. Bush. Everson said he remembers making only one trip to the White House between 2003 and 2007 and said he felt like he'd "moved to Siberia" because of the isolation.
An alternative explanation to why there were so many visits may be that the White House was discussing the particulars of IRS involvement of implementing Obamacare.
Except the White House went to great pains to point out how independent the IRS was of White House control. Why did the IRS need political pros to tell them how to deal with Obamacare?
What's the scary conclusion? They don't care who knows they targeted conservative groups. They aren't stupid. The White House knows that those meetings were in the log. They don't care if Congress wants to know what was discussed.
And they don't care what people think about it.