Los Angeles Times title=

IRS official knew in 2011 that tea party was targeted
Los Angeles Times

A top Internal Revenue Service official knew as early as June 2011 that conservative groups seeking nonprofit status were being singled out for additional scrutiny, raising questions about when senior officials were informed and why the IRS allowed the agency’s commissioner to deny the targeting effort in March 2012 testimony before Congress.

The IRS has said the commissioner was not aware of the targeting at the time, but it has not explained why the testimony was never corrected. Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, told reporters Friday that the agency had targeted conservative groups, but she struggled with questions about when she learned of the effort.

A report from the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, which is expected to be released this week, concluded Lerner had known about the effort, which she acknowledged Friday was « absolutely inappropriate, » for almost two years. Throughout this period, conservative groups complained they were being harassed by the IRS and asked to fill out lengthy, intrusive questionnaires that sought information about donors and about members’ political activities.

On June 29, 2011, Lerner was told at a meeting that groups with « tea party, » « patriot » or « 9/12 Project » in their names were being flagged for additional review of their applications for tax-exempt status, according to a section of the inspector general’s draft report obtained by the Associated Press. The 9/12 Project was started by conservative TV personality Glenn Beck.

L’agence du Revenu des États-Unis a injustement traité et harcelé des groupes identifiés à la droite américaine… Pouvez-vous imaginer les conséquences politiques d’un tel geste si des groupes de gauches avaient connu le même sort durant la présidence de Bush…