The IRS Intervened in Tea Party Elections

Did the IRS intervene in Federal election campaigns for Congress? According to the Washington Times, U.S. Treasury investigative special agent Dennis Martel has uncovered a new example of political abuse. 

On March 9, 2010, Christine O'Donnell's personal income tax records were illegally accessed by a Delaware public official. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) reports that a previously-undisclosed "back door" to the IRS computer system was used to invade the privacy of Christine O'Donnell's tax records.

Who knew? It turns out that state government criminal investigators can directly -- though illegally -- access IRS records through a "back door." Along with O'Donnell, at least four other political candidates and four conservative donors have been identified so far as victims of this abuse.

A Congressional investigation of the IRS "back door" conducted by Sen. Charles Grassley [R - IA] is now under way. However, even Grassley, Martel, and the Washington Times have not yet put all the pieces together.

Dennis Martel and Sen. Grassley are missing details of how this IRS abuse cleverly sabotaged a U.S. Senate campaign. In this column, we connect the dots using this author's personal knowledge of the O'Donnell campaign.

In May 2013, the IRS was forced to admit that it had been targeting tea party organizations. Details have slowly dripped out concerning the involvement of IRS headquarters in Washington in the persecution of conservative activists. Cincinnati IRS staffer Elizabeth Hofacre has identified IRS attorney Carter C. Hull as supervising the inquisition of tea party applicants.

Then, in a July 18 hearing before Darrell Issa's House Oversight Committee, Hull dropped a bigger bomb, revealing that the targeting of tea party groups and other conservatives was directed by the IRS Chief Counsel's office headed by Obama's political appointee William J. Wilkins.

Now, Dennis Martel's new revelation takes the scandal even farther, to individual conservatives and election campaigns. We have discovered how paranoid the IRS was about the tea party. After all, the tea party's mission was to fight taxes. The IRS took that very personally, it now appears.

In March 9, 2010, Christine O'Donnell issued a press release concerning he kickoff of her senate campaign the next day. On that same March 9, an unidentified Delaware public official accessed O'Donnell's confidential income tax records at the IRS.

Many had tried to intimidate, threaten, and smear O'Donnell to keep her from running. So her March 9, 2010, press release was "Game on!" -- a signal that O'Donnell was actually in the race for real. So March 9, 2010, became a politically significant day in Delaware politics.

Next, also on that same March 9, 2010, the IRS unlawfully issued a tax lien upon a house which Christine O'Donnell did not own. This lien was absolutely illegal because the IRS was not finished yet with its highly-suspicious audit of O'Donnell's 2005 tax return. No tax was legally due because no final decision had been made yet. Imagine collecting money when maybe no money is owed! The IRS cannot legally issue a tax lien without first finalizing the amount owed. Yet they did.

Furthermore, on March 9, a copy of that tax lien was illegally leaked to the news media -- before it reached O'Donnell herself. At O'Donnell's March 10, 2010, campaign kickoff news conference, reporters already had a copy of the March 9, 2010, tax lien in their hands. So the IRS notified reporters before the taxpayer was notified, while the document was still traveling through the mail. O'Donnell was asked about a tax lien by reporters without her knowing anything about it. This was carefully designed to try to wreck the kickoff of her U.S. Senate campaign.

Remember: the open U.S. Senate seat in Delaware in November 2010 was Joe Biden's seat. Uncle Joe held the seat from January 1973 to January 2009. So the full force of the White House was interested in the Delaware U.S. Senate race. Obama's U.S. Senate seat in Illinois was won by Republican Mark Kirk that same year. A double embarrassment of both Obama's and Biden's seats going Republican would have been a problem.

Christine O'Donnell ran against Joe Biden for that same office in 2008. Most of O'Donnell's extended family got audited by the IRS right after Uncle Joe was sworn in as V.P. in January 2009. She is one of six siblings. The statistical probability of so many relatives being suddenly audited all together is like a dozen lightning strikes.

Was this fair? H&R Block prepared O'Donnell's tax returns and stood behind their computation of the tax she owed. O'Donnell trusted in H&R Block's audit guarantee.

O'Donnell paid her 2005 taxes on time in April 2006, in full. The instant the IRS finally decided she should pay another $1,100, she paid immediately. Both H&R Block and O'Donnell thought the IRS was wrong. But there were never any taxes overdue.

People ask why would they smear Christine O'Donnell and help Mike Castle win the GOP nomination? You mean they have to attack only one? Why not smear all Republicans? The pattern is to attack all Republicans one after another. Liberals build a narrative and then try to paint all Republicans with the same broad brush.

The accidental unmasking of this abuse began with a complaint to the IRS by Christine O'Donnell gadfly David Keegan. In March 2012, this same Dennis Martel kept asking to meet me (the author), but wouldn't say why. We compromised on a restaurant north of Baltimore along I-95 in April 2012, as I drove home from a deposition in Delaware.

Dennis Martel and his female partner explained that someone had illegally accessed David Keegan's income tax records. Keegan suspected me (this author). But they eventually volunteered that my voice did not match the caller's accent (which shall remain secret). I tried to help them as best I could and explained all the players, the politics, and the context.

David Keegan had worked briefly for Christine O'Donnell's 2008 campaign. In September 2010, Keegan signed an affidavit accusing O'Donnell of diverting campaign funds to personal use. Keegan claimed to have this knowledge because of his role as a financial advisor. But O'Donnell objected that Keegan knew nothing about her personal finances or the campaign's and wasn't trained or experienced as a financial advisor.

I was hired on November 19, 2010, to help O'Donnell with an unremarkable public relations wrapup after her campaign staff disbanded. That work dramatically evolved when accusations against O'Donnell erupted. So I was researching Keegan and whether his accusations were credible. (During my research, Keegan admitted that he merely had strong suspicions he vehemently wanted explored. But he never intended to claim that he had actual knowledge of any wrongdoing.)

Somehow the trail led Dennis Martel to discover that Christine O'Donnell's tax records had also been illegally accessed. So Obama's Chicago-style politicization has gone farther than we dreamed. The Articles of Impeachment drawn up against Richard Nixon never went so far.

This issue needs to be exposed, because much more is at stake than any individual. Christine O'Donnell is important as a person and a friend, far more capable and talented than she is portrayed. And yet it is vastly more important what kind of country we will leave to our children, nephews and nieces, etc. When the IRS scandal broke, I urged O'Donnell to tell her story, because it affects our whole country. However, cynical staff wanted to squelch the topic. But without protecting the political process and exposing efforts to undermine it, how will we preserve the country that our parents carefully handed to us? 

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