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In a recent interview with Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, President Obama, among many other incredible statements, asserted that there was "not even a smidgen or corruption" in the IRS targeting scandal. The President attributed the targeting, harassment, denial, and delay of tax-exempt status to nearly 300 Tea Party and other conservative groups (along with 6 liberal groups to make things look "unbiased", lol) to "bone-headed mistakes" on the part of the IRS.
Keeping the President's words in mind, I introduce you to Catherine Engelbrecht, small business owner and founder of King Steet Patriots, a Tea Party group that applied for tax exempt status. Engelbrecht testified last thursday before the House Oversight And Government Reform Committee looking into the IRS targeting allegations. Here is some of her testimony:
“After nearly 20 years of being in business,” Engelbrecht said during the hearing, “and no agency coming to visit with us, the succession of agencies that have now come to us — for all manner of things — begs the question.”
“The statistical probabilities of what happened to me happening, without political motivation is staggering,” she added.
“Ms. Engelbrecht,” [Rep. Jim Jordan R-OH] said, “in the first 20 years of business, did OSHA ever visit your place of business?”
“No sir,” she responded.
“After you filed the [tax-exempt application for King Street Patriots], OSHA visited then, right?”
“In the first 20 years of business did the [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] ever come to your business?” Jordan continued.
“And they came a couple times once you filed your application?”
“And in your first 20 years of business, did the IRS ever audit you?”
“But once you filed your application, they audited you?”
“And in your first 20 years of business, did the FBI ever visit you?”
“But once you filed your application, did they visit you?”
Jordan made his final point: “[Mr. Gerry Connolly D-Va, who also questioned Engelbrecht] wants us to believe that’s all a coincidence.”
To recap, in the twenty years prior to filing for her Tea Party group's tax exempt status, Englebrecht's business had ZERO visits from the government. After filing, she was visited multiple times by OSHA (and fined $25K), audited several times by the IRS, visited 6 times by the FBI, and visited twice by the BATF.
Coincidence ??? I'll let you decide.
The Treasury Department's Inspector General looking into the IRS targeting scandal concluded the following:
In a letter to congressional Democrats, the inspector general...said that 100 percent of Tea Party groups seeking special tax status were put under IRS review, while only 30 percent of the progressive groups felt the same pressure.
No politicial motivation ??? I'll let you decide. The kicker here is, now that the Inspector General has concluded that conservative groups were improperly targeted and harassed by the IRS based on their names and policy positions, some Democrats in Congress WANT TO INVESTIGATE THE INSPECTOR GENERAL !!! McCarthy must be smiling somewhere.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) added the following at the House hearings:
"...how can the president say there’s not a ‘smidgen’ of criminality when Lois Lerner [director of IRS Exempt Organizations at the time of the targeting] invoked the Fifth Amendment? Forty-one witnesses haven’t been interviewed, including the two who are here right now!” he added. “How can he possibly draw that conclusion?”
Good question. Don't expect President Obama to answer it.
All I can say is, never take freedom, or free speech, for granted.