IRS Takes another Blow to the Chin
NewsMax is reporting that Representative Darrell Issa, who under his party’s term-limit rule must relinquish his position as chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in January, has fired a final shot at the Internal Revenue Service. Issa (R-CA) has issued a 210-page staff report that outlines his committee’s investigation into the government’s treatment of politically active non-profit organizations. The IRS scandal has garnered extensive media attention, but many questions remain unanswered.
The Newsmax article says:
“Nearly five years after the IRS first began targeting conservative organizations for additional scrutiny due to their political beliefs, the agency has still not escaped the shadow of its misdeeds and abuse of power,” the report concludes.
The report, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News, recaps the Internal Revenue Service’s scrutiny of Tea Party groups and shifting explanations from officials for what happened.
It argues that the IRS was swayed by rhetoric from Democrats calling for tougher rules on nonprofits’ involvement in politics and blames senior IRS executives for failing to tell Congress what they knew about these efforts.
Congress has been investigating the IRS activities since May 2013, when the agency said it had given Tea Party groups extra scrutiny. That revelation led to the resignation of acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller and the suspension and retirement of Lois Lerner, the director of exempt organizations.
Issa held a series of hearings on the IRS, spotlighting the issue throughout the 2014 campaign season and engaging in confrontations with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over the agency’s speed in producing documents.
The investigation of the IRS will continue under leadership of the next chairman of the oversight committee, Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah. There is also a bipartisan investigation underway by the Senate Finance Committee, and parallel investigations by the Justice Department and the IRS Inspector General.