IRS Inspector General calls acting IRS head, in effect, a liar

**Posted by Phineas

Following up on this item from a couple of days ago, in which the claim that the IRS had also asked inappropriate questioned and otherwise hassled progressive groups, as well as conservative and Tea Party organizations, was shown to be false by Eliana Johnson of National Review.

Now along comes to Inspector General to confirm that, no, progressive groups were not targeted the same way as groups on the Right. Not at all:

Liberal groups seeking tax-exempt status faced less IRS scrutiny than Tea Party groups, according to the Treasury Department’s inspector general.

J. Russell George, Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, told Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) in a letter dated Wednesday that the IRS did not use inappropriate criteria to scrutinize groups with “progressives” in their name seeking tax-exempt status.

“Our audit did not find evidence that the IRS used the ‘progressives’ identifier as selection criteria for potential political cases between May 2010 and May 2012,” George wrote in the letter obtained by The Hill.

The inspector general stressed that 100 percent of the groups with “Tea Party,” “patriots” and “9/12” in their name were flagged for extra attention, while only 30 percent of the groups with “progress” or “progressive” were highlighted as potentially political. George’s letter does not say why the progressive groups were given extra scrutiny.

“While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of Tea Party and other related criteria we described in our report, including employee interviews, e-mails and other documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention,” George wrote to Levin, the top Democrat on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

Democrats are claiming that liberal groups were targeted, too, though the IG’s testimony shows that it was not nearly at the level at which conservative were culled. They’re also taking an awfully long time producing these targeted liberal groups.

But even if they do produce them, we know from Johnson’s investigations that, if progressive groups were set aside for special examination, they could still be approved by line agents; 501c applications from conservative groups, on the other hand, were all sent to Washington for “special review.”

Democrats on Ways and Means are right to challenge George over why his testimony has discrepancies; that’s part of the job, and no groups deserved to be subjected to intrusive questions, but it doesn’t change the fact of disparate treatment between liberal and conservative applications.

Of greater interest is how and why Acting Commissioner Werfel only recently found “liberal words” and why he didn’t know about the differences in handling. Why wasn’t this mentioned by Lois Lerner or former Commissioner Schulman?

Sounds to me like another desperate, busted distraction.

via Legal Insurrection, which has cruelly preserved a screen capture of the Left’s now-spoiled joy. Heh.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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