Would you believe the revelation yesterday that “low-level employees” at the IRS were targeting Tea Party groups isn’t the end of the story? The Associated Press is reporting today that that admission precedes the release next week of the results of a year-long investigation showing that senior officials have been aware of the agency’s flagging of conservative groups since 2011.
The IRS apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.
But on June 29, 2011, Lois G. Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, learned at a meeting that groups were being targeted, according to the watchdog’s report. At the meeting, she was told that groups with “Tea Party,” ”Patriot” or “9/12 Project” in their names were being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny, the report says.
Crazy timing, huh?