Newly released Internal Revenue Service emails obtained by the group Judicial Watch document active direction by the federal tax agency’s headquarters in targeting Tea Party and conservative nonprofit applicants during the 2010 and 2012 campaigns.
The emails were obtained by the conservative non-profit in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
In a July 2012 email, Holly Paz, who was then director of the IRS Rulings and Agreements division, asked IRS lawyer Steven Grodnitzky “to let Cindy and Sharon know how we have been handling Tea Party applications in the last few months.”
The email conflicts with claims by Obama administration officials that the targeting effort was done exclusively by the government workers in the Cincinnati IRS office.
During a Super Bowl Interview Barack Obama, blamed FOX News and said the there was no IRS Scandal.
“Just some boneheaded decisions out of an agency… Not even a smidgen of corruption.”
Judicial Watch today released a new batch of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents revealing that its handling of Tea Party applications was directed out of the agency’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The documents also show extensive pressure on the IRS by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) to shut down conservative-leaning tax-exempt organizations. The IRS’ emails by Lois Lerner detail her misleading explanations to investigators about the targeting of Tea Party organizations.
One key email string from July 2012 confirms that IRS Tea Party scrutiny was directed from Washington, DC. On July 6, 2010, Holly Paz (the former Director of the IRS Rulings and Agreements Division and current Manager of Exempt Organizations Guidance) asks IRS lawyer Steven Grodnitzky “to let Cindy and Sharon know how we have been handling Tea Party applications in the last few months.” Cindy Thomas is the former director of the IRS Exempt Organizations office in Cincinnati and Sharon Camarillo was a Senior Manager in their Los Angeles office. Grodnitzky, a top lawyer in the Exempt Organization Technical unit (EOT) in Washington, DC, responds:
EOT is working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. We are developing a few applications here in DC and providing copies of our development letters with the agent to use as examples in the development of their cases. Chip Hull [another lawyer in IRS headquarters] is working these cases in EOT and working with the agent in Cincy, so any communication should include him as well. Because the Tea party applications are the subject of an SCR [Sensitive Case Report], we cannot resolve any of the cases without coordinating with Rob.
The reference to Rob is believed to be Rob Choi, then-Director of Rulings and Agreements in IRS’s Washington, DC, headquarters