“Not even a smidgen” of corruption, ‘eh Barack?

Via CNS News:

Documents obtained by the House Ways and Means Committee show that IRS officials first started flagging Tea Party applications for tax-exempt status in February 2010 because of “media attention,” and that Treasury and IRS officials had discussed potentially addressing the tax-exemption rules for such groups “off-plan,” meaning “hidden from the public,” said Committee Chariman Dave Camp (R-Mich.).

In a hearing on the IRS-Tea Party scandal on Wednesday, Chairman Camp questioned IRS Commissioner John Koskinen about the Treasury Department apparently crafting rules to limit the ability of conservative and Tea Party groups to get 501(c)4 exemptions to engage in public debate.

Camp highlighted a June 14, 2012 e-mail from Treasury Department attorney and tax adviser Ruth Madrigal to Lois Lerner, then the IRS official in charge of determining the tax-exempt status of non-profit organizations, and other IRS personnel.  (Lerner pleaded the Fifth against self-incrimination before Congress in May 2013 and then retired from the agency.) (See Off-Plan (1).pdf)

The first sentence of that e-mail reads: “Don’t know who in your organization is keeping tabs on c4s, but since we mentioned potentially addressing them (off-plan) in 2013, I’ve got my radar up and this seemed interesting.” The e-mail then discusses a court ruling on determining political committees from PACs, or Political Action Committees.

Camp asked Koskinen, “Do you know what off-plan means?”  Koskinen replied, “I do not know what that would have meant in 2012.”

Camp then said, “Well, I’m pretty sure that means hidden from the public.” The chairman went on to comment that if Treasury and IRS officials had fabricated a rationale for a rule change on tax-exemption status, it would raise questions about “the integrity of the rule-making process.”

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