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UPDATE: Who Directed Abuses of Power at IRS?

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 17, 2013 11:20 AM |

Is there any doubt that the IRS engaged in an abuse of power in the manner in which it handled the applications of selected groups for tax-exempt status?

In Congressional testimony this morning, the outgoing acting commissioner Steven Miller has done his best to parry — some would say stonewall — Republican committee members. The simple fact is America learned what it needed to from this hearing in the opening testimony provided by the Inspector General J. Russell George.

Let’s watch, listen, and learn:

With this knowledge now confirmed, the follow up questions that must be answered are:

1. Who directed the activity?
2. Who at Treasury was made aware of it?
3. Was knowledge of this activity and information gleaned by the IRS shared with others? If so, who and when?

UPDATE: we learned later in the hearing of the following as highlighted by The New York Times:

The Treasury Department’s inspector general told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was auditing the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of politically active organizations seeking tax exemptions, disclosing for the first time on Friday that Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year.

At the first Congressional hearing into the I.R.S. scandal, J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, told members of the House Ways and Means Committee that he informed the Treasury’s general counsel of his audit on June 4 (2012), and Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin “shortly thereafter.”

If Treasury’s general counsel and Deputy Treasury Secretary knew in mid-2012 of these abuses of power, are we supposed to believe that Treasury Secretary Geithner was not aware? Stop it.

How might we gain the necessary transparency and the ultimate truth?

I feel strongly there is a need to appoint an independent counsel with the power of subpoena to find and review any and all necessary information. First things first. Take out all the shredders from the appropriate offices.

Those on the Democratic side of the aisle are wont to make the case that this activity within the IRS stems from the Citizens United case addressing campaign finance. I would maintain that that topic should be addressed AFTER we learn what transpired at the IRS.

Truth, transparency, and integrity continue to be virtues that take a battering in and around Washington. America continues to suffer as a result. Let’s continue to fight for our country.

Larry Doyle

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I have no business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

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