New documents obtained by government watchdog group Judicial Watch show the IRS targeting scandal was more expansive than previously known and show IRS officials admitting the tactics used to hinder conservative groups were inappropriate. The documents, which total 695 pages, were previously withheld by the Obama administration from Congress and were not included in the Congressional investigation into IRS abuse.
"In an August 9, 2013, memo, Schiller admitted the IRS used political labels in targeting the groups for special scrutiny and possible audit and that, going forward, the agency would screen organizations based only on their activities, 'not words' or 'labels of any kind,'" Judicial Watch found after issuing a FOIA lawsuit against the agency.
Further, the documents show IRS officials essentially bribed groups and offered tax exempt status in exchange for limited political activity. In other words, limiting opposition to President Obama's agenda.
“No wonder the Obama IRS has been hiding these records. The new smoking-gun documents contain admissions by the Obama IRS that it inappropriately targeted conservative groups,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “But the records also show that the abuse continued – as the Obama IRS tried to force conservative applicants to give up their First Amendment rights in order to finally get their applications granted.”
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who covered up many aspects of the IRS targeting scandal on behalf of former IRS official Lois Lerner, is still in charge of the agency.