FBI documents confirm everything suspected about IRS slow walking Tea Party applications
The truth has finally tied its shoes and caught up with the lies told by IRS officials with regard to the treatment of applications for tax exempt status by Tea Party groups.
FBI documents released by Judicial Watch include interviews with IRS employees in the Cincinnati tax exempt office run by Lois Lerner that prove employees were under instructions to bury the applications of Tea Party groups.
The group released 105 pages of FBI documents, which included interviews with Cincinnati IRS employees who disclosed that applications by Tea Party groups were automatically denied approval and assigned to a special group until they heard from the IRS headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“The FBI’s 302 interviews with Cincinnati IRS employees reveal that the agency adopted a series of policies assuring that Tea Party and other conservative group tax exempt applications would not be approved before the November 2012 presidential election,” according to a statement from Judicial Watch.
A manager from the Cincinnati IRS explained to the FBI that the Tea Party applications were put into a file called “Group 7822,” where they were to be held while employees waiting for guidance from the D.C. IRS office.
Additionally, the IRS began a “BOLO” or “Be On the Lookout” list in 2010, adding Tea Party groups to that list in July or August 2010.
The IRS had a bucketing system, which determined whether applications were quickly approved or would be delayed. If an application was put into the “merit close” bucket, it meant the application met all criteria and was approved quickly.
According to the documents, IRS officials directed that no one on the BOLO list, which included Tea Party applications, could be put in the merit close bucket. This means that Tea Party applications would never be quickly approved.
“The BOLO was used as a tool for the screeners/classifiers and all revenue agents were expected to know what was on the list,” the documents read. “If an item was on the BOLO list, then that case could not be merit closed by the screeners/classifiers.”
For instance, one interview revealed how an IRS employee saw the Tea Party name on an application and sent it to development because he knew he couldn’t approve the case.
“IRS officials described for the FBI unlawful and purposeful bureaucratic delays orchestrated by top IRS officials in Washington, D.C.,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. “One IRS official details how concerns about the Obama IRS targeting of conservatives were ignored. We hope a future Justice Department follows up on this information in a renewed criminal investigation.”
The IRS, their defenders in the Democratic party, and the president himself have all claimed that there was no "targeting" of Tea Party and other conservative groups by the IRS. This is a flat out lie and officials at the IRS who have made this claim in congressional testimony should be charged with perjury.
That it took this long to expose the scheme is not surprising. The Obama administration has always played the long game with regard to most of their scandals, hoping to run out the clock on the Obama presidency before anyone was held accountable. But those IRS officials in Washington responsible for the hold on Tea Party applications are bureaucrats who can and should be prosecuted. Whether they will be depends on who the next president is.