Connecting The White House / IRS Dots: The Bauer/Cutter Nexus

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jun 05, 2013 2:27 PM

Yesterday, I posted about Stephanie Cutter -- long a Democrat political fixer -- participating in at least some of the 157 meetings IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman had at The White House.

Today, more information surfaces that may help to connect the dots about what happened at The White House. 

The first place to start is with this PJ Media piece by J. Christian Adams, who makes a compelling case that White House counsel Bob Bauer could be the architect of the systemic abuse IRS targeting wreaked on conservative entities.  In raising questions the FBI ought to pursue with Bauer, Adams asks, "Did you meet with Doug Shulman any of the 157 times he visited the White House, and did you discuss exempt status of conservative groups?"

Maybe Bauer did, maybe he didn't.  But the fact is that he didn't need himself to meet with Shulman to get his point across.  Why? Because Stephanie Cutter, political fixer, has already admitted she was in on some of those meetings.

But then, of course, the question becomes whether there is any reason to believe that Cutter and Bauer would have had any sort of sustained working relationship, or "overlapped" professionally in some context.  And guess what?

In May, 2009, Cutter was brought to the White House from Treasury to help shepherd Sonia Sotomayor (Obama's first Supreme Court nominee) through the confirmation process.  

In November 2009, Bob Bauer is named the new White House counsel when Greg Craig is forced out.  And guess what? According to The New York Times

The former counsel, Gregory Craig, had not yet moved out of his West Wing office when Mr. Bauer bounded in, eager to take the pulse of his soon-to-be colleagues about the lessons of last year’s confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

If all that's true, guess who Bauer must have consulted right off the bat?  That's right -- Stephanie Cutter, who was officially deputized to sell ObamaCare in April of 2010, a month after the IRS targeting first began.

Oh, and just in case you think that overlap wasn't enough to make plenty sure that Stephanie Cutter didn't have contacts with Bob Bauer before being sent off to the IRS meetings, keep this in mind: Bauer is also married to Anita Dunn, who served as White House communications director until he took over as White House counsel.  In that role, it's probably that Dunn's path overlaped extensively with Stephanie Cutter's, who was also working out of The White House, in charge of communications about the Sotomayor nomination.  

And ultimately, when Stephanie Cutter was communicating with the IRS (about ObamaCare and who knows what else), her role in Supreme Court nominee communications was taken over by . . . Anita Dunn.

All of this is to say that whether or not Bob Bauer himself had occasion to meet with Doug Shulman is really irrelevant.  His views and ideas had an able and presumably willing transmitter in the person of . . . Stephanie Cutter.