Today’s revelation that Lois Lerner and Treasury Department officials were conspiring off the record to initiate new regulations to restrict the free speech rights of conservative Americans exposes yet another lie of the Obama Administration.
Newly released emails show that Treasury Department officials, high-ranking IRS attorneys in the Tax Exempt and Government Organizations Division, and Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the IRS targeting scandal, were planning regulations off the record to further restrict conservative groups while the IRS was systematically targeting conservative and Tea Party organizations.
Yet, in November of last year, IRS Acting Commissioner, Danny Werfel (an Obama appointee), announced that the IRS and the Treasury Department were proposing “new” rules to govern tax-exempt organizations. These new rules were supposedly being issued in response to the IRS scandal and were intended to “provide clarity for this important segment of exempt organizations.”
This turns out to be yet another lie of the Obama Administration, just another part of the Administration’s orchestrated effort to silence dissenting views – delay new Tea Party groups until new, more restrictive regulations could be put in place.
As the Wall Street Journal explains:
Mr. Obama wants Americans to believe that the targeting resulted from the confusing tax law governing nonprofits, which he says was "difficult" to interpret and resulted in mere "bureaucratic" mistakes. This is also the Administration's justification for issuing new regulations governing 501(c)(4)s that would effectively silence White House opponents this election year. Published in the Federal Register in November, the new rules cite the "lack of a clear and concise" regulation as reason for the rewrite.
The truth is these regulations were in the works long before the Administration would have us believe. They were being developed at the same time and by the same people who were directly involved in the targeting, delay, and abusive questioning of hundreds of Tea Party and conservative groups.
The House Way’s and Means Committee released the following findings from its ongoing investigation into the IRS targeting scandal:
- Before February 2010, Tea Party cases were being processed and approved within three months without Washington, DC intervention.
- Tea Party cases were flagged due to “media attention” in February 2010, not as a result of any confusion as to how to interpret 501(c)(4) law.
- According to interviews, as early as 2011, work on potential 501(c)(4) regulations was started. A June 2012 email between Treasury and Lois Lerner revealed that these potential regulations were being discussed “off-plan” – or not to be published on the public schedule.
- In November 2013, Treasury released proposed regulations drafted in a manner that would shut down conservative groups, and marketed them to the American people as a response to “confusion” over the application of 501(c)(4) law.
As we have previously stated, these “new” regulations would severely hamper free speech and add insult to injury, changing the rules in the middle of the game in an attempt to silence political dissent.
Now, we learn that there is nothing new about these regulations; they were developed by the very people at the heart of the illegal targeting. Not only that but President Obama’s handpicked appointee, Werfel, who was supposedly sent in to clean up the mess in the IRS and stamp out any corruption is the one who pushed the regulations out, just weeks before leaving the IRS.
An Obama appointee put out these new regulations – developed in secret by Lerner and others while the IRS was carrying out its targeting under her watch – to further hinder conservative speech. All the while, the Obama Administration put on a masquerade that these regulations were needed to fix the problem that its own IRS created, all in a deceitful attempt to accomplish the very same goals.
“Not even a smidgen of corruption,” says President Obama. The evidence is mounting; not a smidgen indeed; it’s looking every day like more of a mountain. It’s no wonder Lerner pled the Fifth.
Today, the systematic targeting of conservative Americans continues, and this is just the latest in a long string of Obama Administration lies to cover-up and conceal the corruption.
We will get to the truth and end the abuse, as our ongoing lawsuit on behalf of 41 targeted groups from 22 states continues.
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