Firestorm Over IRS Targeting of Patriot Groups
Top brass at taxation agency allowed agents to harass patriot groups
May 12, 2013
A report by the Treasury Departmentâs Inspector General reveals that senior IRS officials were aware agents singled out nonprofit groups with the words âTea Partyâ and âpatriotâ in their paperwork.
The finding contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner, Douglas Shulman.
On Friday, the IRS issued an apology for âinappropriateâ targeting of patriot and constitutional political groups during the 2012 election. The agency said only low-level employees were involved in the harassment.
âItâs the line people that did it without talking to managers. Theyâre IRS workers, theyâre revenue agents,â said Lois G. Lerner, who supervises the IRS division overseeing tax-exempt organizations.
On June 29, 2011, Lerner learned during a meeting that groups were being targeted. She allegedly instructed agents to change the criteria for flagging groups âimmediately,â according to the report.
The Associated Press reported on Saturday that it obtained part of the draft report sent to congressional aides.
The draft reveals that on August 4, 2011, the IRSâ Rulings and Agreements office âheld a meeting with chief counsel so that everyone would have the latest information on the issue.â
Several months later, the agency changed the criteria for targeting groups to âpolitical action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement.â