A report released by the Wall Street Journal pokes a big hole in one of the IRS's repeated claims regarding the conservative groups targeting scandal.
The agency has maintained that the only reason conservative groups' IRS applications were delayed was because of bureaucracy.
But recently discovered emails pull another group into the mix and shows that the IRS was engaged in a pattern of silencing groups whose views did not fit with the Administration's agenda.
In 2009, the pro-Israel group Z Street applied for tax-exempt status, according to the WSJ. The organization's purpose is to educate the public on “Israel-related issues.”
In 2010 an IRS agent told Z Street that its application was delayed because the tax agency's Washington, D.C. office was giving special scrutiny to groups whose missions might conflict with Administration policies.
The IRS's “Be on the Lookout” list that November also included red flags for groups referring to “disputed territories.”
Z Street subsequently sued for “viewpoint discrimination.” The WSJ reports that discovered emails show that it was not just one agency that was working to stifle the organization.
Emails uncovered by the House Ways and Means Committee show that the IRS and State Department were conferring in 2009 about pro-Israel groups like Z Street and considering arguments to deny their tax-exempt applications.
This suppression was apparently widespread and tactics were used to prevent many organizations whose mission directly conflicted with the President's. This is a much deeper, bigger problem than originally thought.
It's apparent the Administration used political tactics to suppress its opponents. Who wants to live under that kind of government?