Yesterday IRS commissioner Danny Werfel told reporters the agency’s “Be on the lookout” list included not just conservative groups but progressive groups as well. Werfel also told reporters the IRS did not find evidence of intentional wrongdoing by anyone in the agency.
Yet, this is not accurate. The Inspector General report in May already confirmed that the agency was inappropriately targeting “conservative” groups.
What Werfel did not disclose was that the IRS list allowed “progressive” groups to be approved on the spot while agents were told to send conservative applications to Washington DC.
Eliana Johnson at The Corner reported:
Acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel on Monday told reporters that the now-infamous “Be On The Lookout” list was far broader than was originally disclosed in the Treasury Department inspector general’s report. Reports from outlets including the Associated Press, which I cited in my original report, and now Bloomberg News, confirmed Werfel’s account, indicating that various versions of the list not only included terms like “tea party,” but also “progressive,” “Occupy,” and “Israel.”
A November 2010 version of the list obtained by National Review Online, however, suggests that while the list did contain the word “progressive,” screeners were in fact instructed to treat “progressive” groups differently from “tea party” groups. Whereas screeners were merely alerted that a designation of 501(c)(3) status “may not be appropriate” for applications containing the word ”progressive” – 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from conducting any political activities – they were told to send those of tea-party groups off IRS higher-ups for further scrutiny.
That means the applications of progressive groups could be approved on the spot by line agents, while those of tea-party groups could not. Furthermore, the November 2010 list noted that tea-party cases were “currently being coordinated with EOT,” which stands for Exempt Organizations Technical, a group of tax lawyers in Washington, D.C. Those of progressive groups were not.
Werfel purposely misrepresented the scandal yesterday to reporters.
He knew progressive groups were given a pass yet withheld this information. Danny Werfel is no better than his predecessors.
More… We also know that although three liberal groups were asked follow-up questions when they applied for tax-exempt status – The IRS DID NOT Give Liberal Groups Same Scrutiny as Conservative Organizations.