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IRS Targeting Scheme: "Willful Act of Intimidation"

The House Ways and Means Committee today heard from some of the victims in the IRS scandal. Four of our clients testified before the Committee telling lawmakers first-hand about the abuse and harassment they received from the IRS - simply because of their ideological beliefs.

Here's the list of the four clients who shared their stories with the Committee today.

  • Kevin Kookogey of Linchpins of Liberty from Tennessee
  • Diane Belsom of the Laurens County Tea Party in South Carolina
  • Becky Gerritson of the Wetumpka Tea Party from Alabama
  • Karen Kenney with the San Fernando Valley Patriots in California

We represent these four groups, along with 21 other organizations, in our federal lawsuit against the IRS. As we actively work to hold those responsible inside the IRS and the Obama Administration accountable, it's important to put today's hearing into perspective.

All of the testimony today was powerful. And it put the focus squarely on the abusive practices that, by the way, are still ongoing at the IRS.

Becky Gerritson of the Wetumpka Tea Party in Alabama told the legislators that her group was singled out by the IRS for one reason - because the words "Tea Party" are part of group's name. As she put it, "This was not an accident, this was a willful act of intimidation."

She is absolutely correct.

When you hear from people like Becky, you realize the intimidation factor by the IRS is incredible.

As I told Megyn Kelly on FOX News today, we have the evidence - the correspondence from the tax lawyers - including letters from Lois Lerner, the Director of the Exempt Organizations division. Letters that show a coordinated effort to unlawfully target these groups. Not a couple of rogue agents out of an Ohio office, as the IRS continues to assert.

We are in federal court. And it will be interesting to see how the federal government responds to our lawsuit. Will the government deny the charges in our lawsuit - charges that they orchestrated this targeting scheme? Or will the government admit it?  After all, Lerner herself confessed publicly to this scheme in early May after she planted a question at an American Bar Association meeting.

We will continue to get to the bottom of this IRS scheme. We will not rest until this abusive conduct is stopped and those responsible for this campaign of intimidation are held accountable.

Jay Sekulow

 

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