More On IRS' Wilkins

Carol Platt Liebau
Posted: May 16, 2013 12:06 PM

Earlier today, I posted about William J. Wilkins, the President's man at the IRS, where he was appointed Chief Counsel.

Further scrutiny of the timeline yields more interesting questions for Mr. Wilkins.  

According to the IG report's timeline, on March 23 and March 27 of 2012, f IRS officials (Senior Technical Advisor to the Acting Commissioner, Tax Exempt & Govt Entitles Division, and the Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement) discussed media attention surrounding the Tea Party applications.  The Deputy Commissioner for SErvices and Enforcement asked the Senior Technical advisor to look into the matter.

On April 23, the Senior Technical Advisor to the Acting Commissioner, Tax Exempt & Govt Entitles Division went to Cincinnati and reviewed half the identified cases. On April 25, the Senior Technical Advisor to the Director of Exempt Organizations provided results of the letter review, including a list of troubling questions (such as the names of donors).

Here's where it gets interesting, on April 25, 2012:

Chief Counsel's office provided additional comments on the draft guidance developed for the Determinations Unit.

In other words, Wilkins' office was fully in the loop about the problem, and as my earlier post notes, he had met on August 4, 2011 about this very issue.

2 Exit Questions

(1) Are we to believe that the White House -- or the Treasury Department, where Wilkins is an Assistant General Counsel, reporting to the Treasury Secretary -- knew nothing about this matter, even as these meetings took place?

(2) How could Wilkins allow members of Congress repeatedly to be assured that no targeting was going on?  As Senator Orrin Hatch puts it,

"In fact, after the IRS leadership learned of this, they sent Congress letters saying that the targeting of conservative groups was not happening. Now this was either one of the greatest cases of incompetence that I've ever seen or it was the IRS willfully not telling Congress the truth."

Keep in mind that Acting Commissioner Miller appeared before Congress and denied any targeting had ever occurred on July 25, 2012, three months to the day after Wilkins' office reviewed guidance about targeting.

And yet we're to believe that Wilkins told Treasury and/or The White House nothing?  Let's hope for William Wilkins' sake that he's got written records.  Otherwise, I hear the rumblings of an oncoming administration bus headed his way.