Majority Believe IRS Targeting of Conservatives Came From the White House

Posted: May 23, 2013 11:55 AM

According to a new Rasmussen Report, the majority of Americans believe other agencies outside of the IRS also targeted conservatives. The report also shows the majority of Americans believe the IRS targeting came from Washington and directly from the White House, not a few "low-level" employees Cincinnati.

Most voters think the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to target conservative groups was made in Washington, D.C. and that it wasn’t the only government agency going after these groups.

Just 20% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the IRS’ explanation thus far that low-level employees at its Cincinnati office made the decision to target the conservative groups. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% think the orders came from Washington, with 26% who think the decision was made by someone at IRS headquarters and 39% who believe someone who works at the White House made the call.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of GOP voters think the decision to have the IRS target these conservative groups was made by someone at the White House, and a plurality (41%) of unaffiliated voters agree. Only 13% of Democrats share that assessment.

 Suggesting a very high level of skepticism, 60% think it’s at least somewhat likely that other government agencies also targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups. Just 30% consider this unlikely. This includes 39% who say it’s Very Likely other government agencies were involved and only nine percent (9%) who feel it’s Not At All Likely.

Perhaps most stunning is the fact that 37% of Democrats think it likely that other agencies were used to target conservative groups.

In terms of conservatives being targeted by federal agencies, we already have evidence of that with True the Vote's experience.

The group received an unprecedented level of scrutiny from the IRS since its original application for 501(c3) status was filed in 2010. The IRS sent rounds of questions over several years that went as far as demanding to see each and every tweet Engelbrecht had ever sent out and each and every speech she had ever given.

The IRS did not stop there. They demanded to know who had spoken at the group and to see each and every speech the speakers had given. They demanded to know the identities of all members of the group and who had attended their meetings. The list of probing and outlandish questions was exhaustive.

Soon, the IRS began to audit Engelbrecht’s family business and her personally. And the scrutiny from the federal government did not stop with the IRS.

Two DOJ agencies, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) began to make their presence felt in Engelbrecht’s life as well.

“They [FBI] contacted us, asked questions about one of the people who attended a program," Engelbrecht told Breitbart News. "They asked for us to call if he ever showed back up. They repeated [their calls] over time, but no longer about that individual. They said they were just calling to check up with us. They called to check up with us a great deal and said it was ‘routine."