SMIDGEN REPORT SPECIAL UPDATE: IRS Created ‘Special Project Team’ of ‘Hundreds of Lawyers’ to Hide Information from CongressPosted: June 5, 2015
The American Center for Law and Justice‘s Jay Sekulow reports: New testimony reveals that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) used “hundreds of attorneys” to hide critical information from Congress’s investigation of the IRS targeting of conservatives.
According to new congressional bombshell testimony today, the IRS set up a previously unknown “special project team” comprised of “hundreds of attorneys,” including the IRS Chief Counsel (one of only two politically appointed positions at the IRS).
The “special project” this team was given? Concealing information from Congress.
The IRS’s director of privacy, governmental liaison, and disclosure division, Mary Howard, testified that soon after the IRS targeting scandal was revealed, the IRS “amassed hundreds of attorneys to go through the documents [requested by Congress] and redact them.”
Members of Congress have long complained that many of the documents produced by the IRS have been “redacted to the point of absurdity.”
Now we know why.
As the Washington Times reports:
Mary Howard, who also works as the head Freedom of Information Act officer in the IRS, told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that once the “special project team” was created and operational, she never saw requests for information.
“My understanding was that it started soon after the request came from Congress and other investigators asking for documents around this whole issue,” which she surmised meant around spring of 2013.
In other words, as soon as the IRS targeting scandal broke, the IRS set up a special team of hundreds of attorneys, including President Obama’s political head of the Chief Counsel’s office, to keep requests for publicly available information away from the person who would normally review those documents and turn them over to Congress and the public. That “special” team then overly redacted, delayed, and determined which documents it wanted Congress to see.
After setting up a special “group” to target and delay applications by Tea Party groups for tax-exempt status, the IRS set up a new “special project team” to delay and redact information from Congress about that targeting. Can you smell a cover-up?
When asked about these revelations and the ongoing investigation by Congress into the IRS and former top IRS official Lois Lerner’s involvement, Howard testified, “I think that Lois Lerner was the tip of the iceberg.”
This is what we at the ACLJ have been arguing all along….(read more)
- Obama IRS Political Appointees Protected Tea Party Probe Requests (nalert.blogspot.com)
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz to Justice Dept.’s FOIA czar: ‘You live in la-la land’ (washingtonpost.com)
- Journalists Tell Oversight Committee: Bureaucrats Make FOIA Process ‘Useless’ (patriotupdate.com)
- Dangerous Overreach: Sharyl Attkisson Says Feds Have Intentionally ‘Perverted’ the FOIA Process (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- House Investigating Whether Obama Administration Complying With Transparency Laws (freebeacon.com)
- House Oversight Committee is looking for FOIA fails (sunlightfoundation.com)
- Dangerous Overreach: Sharyl Attkisson Says Feds Have Intentionally ‘Perverted’ the FOIA Process (independentsentinel.com)
- The IRS Scandal, Day 756 (taxprof.typepad.com)