Robert Knight

Like a creek gushing in springtime, the trickle of Internal Revenue Service corruption is becoming a steady current.

The media are finding it harder to cover up the IRS’s abuses of power, but they keep trying. They did their best to downplay the House Ways and Means Committee’s vote on April 9 to endorse Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s request to the U.S. Justice Department for a criminal investigation into former IRS official Lois Lerner’s persecution of the Tea Parties.

The Washington Post, for example, buried the story in its print edition. There’s nothing to see here. The next day, the House Government Oversight Committee voted to cite Lerner for contempt of Congress. This time, the Post didn’t even carry a buried article on it.

Let’s recap: Two powerful House committees accuse a top IRS official of breaking the law, lying, obstructing and targeting an administration’s political enemies. Yawn.

Both resolutions will go to the full House for a vote after a two-week recess.

The chairman of the Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, also unveiled evidence that staffers for Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the committee’s ranking Democrat, asked the IRS for information on True the Vote, a group harassed repeatedly by the IRS. You’d think this, too, would be newsworthy. Nope.

New evidence also surfaced that two liberal “watchdog” groups – Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center – urged Ms. Lerner in 2010 to investigate Republican-leaning groups, including Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS. In January 2013, Lerner sicced her staff on five conservative organizations that left-leaning ProPublica had identified as “controversial dark money groups.”

Most revealing is Ms. Lerner’s telling the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Information that she didn’t learn about the use of Tea Party keywords to target groups until June 2011. However, emails “show Ms. Lerner was told about the Tea Party cases under review in April and May 2010, only weeks after the process started,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

No wonder she took the Fifth Amendment repeatedly, refusing to testify. No wonder IRS General Counsel William Wilkins told Congress 80 times that he could not recall what occurred during that period.


Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.