Republicans Claimed an IRS Cover Up, But It Turns Out Darrell Issa Knew in 2012

more from Sarah Jones
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013, 4:15 pm

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Another GOP conspiracy dies as it comes to light during a hearing that the Treasury Department was investigating the IRS and told Darrell Issa this in 2012.

During a hearing on Tuesday, it came out that the Treasury Department informed Darrell Issa of its investigation into the IRS in 2012. The IRS is a bureau of the Treasury Department. They have letters and everything.

TPM reported:

At a hearing Tuesday, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George told the Senate Finance Committee that the Treasury Department informed Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) office of its investigation into the IRS in 2012, and has had communications with this staff since then.

Part of Republicans outrage over the now dissolving narrative that conservatives had been targeted by the IRS for political reasons (instead of the fact that they were violating the law, were incompetent regarding setting up their “social welfare” organizations, or were trying to pass off PACs as social welfare organizations, or that the IRS is disorganized, under-funded thanks to Republicans, and has never been clear about the rules on this issue) was over their charge that the IRS knew and did nothing. The IRS knew last year and never told Congress! It’s an outrage, worse than Nixon, I tell you.

Only, it turns out that Obama-scandal-manufacturer Darrell Issa (R-CA) knew last year.

I pointed out on May 14th that the narrative about when higher up officials knew and allegedly didn’t inform Congressional Republicans was yet another story planted by “Republican Congressional aides”:

Who told the press that the Bush appointee knew in May? It turns out that is the interpretation of Republican congressional aides, who were not named in the Washington Post (my bold):
“Moreover, details of the IRS’s efforts to target conservative groups reached the highest levels of the agency in May 2012, far earlier than has been disclosed, according to Republican congressional aides briefed by the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration ¬(TIGTA) on the details of their reviews.
Then-Commissioner Douglas Shulman, a George W. Bush appointee who stepped down in November, received a briefing from the TIGTA about what was happening in the Cincinnati office in May 2012, the aides said. His deputy and the agency’s current acting commissioner, Steven T. Miller, also learned about the matter that month, the aides said.”

When did they know and why didn’t they tell anyone? Oh my! NIXON!

Here’s the bit about how officials didn’t tell Congressional Republicans, leading Republicans to accuse the IRS of being “deliberately dishonest” with Congress (aka, a cover up):

The officials did not share details with Republican lawmakers who had been demanding to know whether the IRS was targeting conservative groups, Republicans said.

“Knowing what we know now,” he (Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT)) added, “the IRS was at best being far from forth coming, or at worst, being deliberately dishonest with Congress.”

Orrin Hatch was but one of many hysterical Republicans claiming a yet another cover up. This narrative didn’t require editing a Benghazi email — it was just a matter of feeding the press a few choice quotes and leaving out a lot of information.

It’s also worth pointing out, just so you can appreciate the thoroughness and coordination that goes into building a false narrative (someone should investigate!), that the Washington Post used a quote from True the Vote (aka, King Street Patriots) to buttress the Republican aides’ narrative that conservatives were being targeted. However, True the Vote was found by a judge to have violated their status as a nonprofit, and to be operating like a PAC, after they illegally aided Republicans.

It has yet to be established that conservatives were being targeted by the IRS for political reasons, any more than liberals were, since a liberal group actually had its nonprofit status revoked by the IRS. All groups seeking tax exempt status whilst involving themselves in politics were no doubt looked at with suspicion, especially post Citizens United.

So dies another Republican talking point your “free press” crafted a narrative around. It turns out that Darrell Issa knew about this last year. Maybe if Orrin Hatch wants to know why he wasn’t told, and who was being “deliberately dishonest”, he ought to take it up with Issa. Maybe Issa will try to claim that his office staff is incompetent; trickle down fail.

You might think Republicans would be embarrassed about this, or their deliberately edited Benghazi emails, but lucky for them, they seem incapable of shame. If Darrell Issa knew last year, then obviously Republicans couldn’t have actually ever believed there was a cover up going on, since the Treasury, of which the IRS is a bureau, was actually investigating the matter last year. Double der.

Republicans Claimed an IRS Cover Up, But It Turns Out Darrell Issa Knew in 2012 was written by Sarah Jones for PoliticusUSA.
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