Enough evidence has been uncovered to confirm that the IRS had indeed targeted Tea Party groups under former President Obama since 2010, according to government watchdog documents.
6,924 pages of previously unreported documents, requested through a 2015 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by the watchdog organization Judicial Watch, revealed details about the IRS targeting scandal.
“We continue to undercover the details of the Obama IRS’s arbitrary and capricious behavior toward those presumed to be ‘enemies’ of President Obama,” wrote Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton.
The watchdog group released 695 pages of new documents last week containing admissions that IRS officials used “inappropriate political labels” to screen tax-exempt applications of conservative nonprofit organizations.
Combined with a May 2013 Inspector General report revealing that the IRS put unnecessary scrutiny on groups that used terms like “patriot” and “Tea Party,” Fitton believes that these new documents provide a “smoking gun.”
“No wonder Obama hid these records,” he said. “These new smoking-gun documents contain admissions by the Obama IRS that it inappropriately targeted conservative groups.”
“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,” Fitton added.
The IRS has released a statement that the department will release further documents, but failed to mention a timeframe.
“At this time, the Service is unable to provide an estimate regarding when it will complete its review of the potentially responsive documents. The Service will begin producing any non-exempt, responsive documents by March 10, 2017, and, if necessary, continue to produce non-responsive records on a bi-weekly basis.
Just yesterday, two top Republicans asked the Trump administration’s Justice Department to take a second look at the evidence against former IRS senior executive Lois Lerner in light of the new revelations.
“Taxpayers deserve to know that the DOJ’s previous evaluation was not tainted by politics,” the congressmen wrote in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.