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The big question in the IRS scandal is “Who ordered the targeting of conservative groups?”

A former Justice Department lawyer who served in the Voting Rights Section has a strong suspicion. In his PJ Media column, J. Christian Adams suggests the FBI take a close look at former White House Counsel Robert Bauer.

Adams builds his case by showing how Bauer had the motive, the means and the opportunity.

He begins by noting, “Robert Bauer had the motive to direct IRS policy against tea-party groups. He is a longtime opponent of First Amendment freedoms and an advocate of government-speech regulation. He also can’t stand the work the tea party is conducting to monitor and eradicate voter fraud.”

Adams says just two months after Bauer became White House counsel, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs. FEC caused the Obama camp to fear “the decision might cost them the White House. President Obama boorishly (and inaccurately) addressed the decision in the 2010 State of the Union.”

As for the means, “Remember, Bauer served as White House counsel from November 2009 to June 2011, right during the time this IRS shakedown was hatched.”

Adams said that is particularly important because, “[T]he White House counsel enjoys a position of power like few others. They can make things happen with a phone call. One former West Wing staffer told me that ‘any department’s staff who received directions from Bauer would think they were getting directions from the president. The White House counsel has the power to make policy with a phone call.’”

Bauer’s position gave him the opportunity to renew his feud with tea-party groups, according to Adams.

“Bauer and his campaign hench-lawyers called state election officials, seeking to unleash state criminal investigations of tea-party groups working for election integrity. I have spoken with state election officials in at least three states which describe Obama campaign efforts to prompt state officials to target tea-party groups.

“I’m happy to share with the FBI special agents the names of those states if Mr. Bauer won’t.”

Adams concludes the truth can be found in a series of questions:

“The FBI special agents should ask Bauer some simple questions: With whom did you speak at the IRS about conservative and tea-party groups post-Citizens United? Did you direct anyone on your staff to do the same? Did you hear about anyone speaking with the IRS about tea-party groups? Who hatched the IRS harassment, which started on your watch? Did you meet with Doug Shulman any of the 157 times he visited the White House, and did you discuss exempt status of conservative groups?”

Adams also suggests “FBI agents might ask Bauer why a parade of Citizens United-obsessed speech-regulation zealots visited the West Wing just before the tea-party shakedown went into effect.”

He lists:

Tova Wang of the leftist Soros-funded group Demos who visited the White House and met with Bauer’s staff on June 2, 2010. “In fact she hovered around the White House on multiple occasions during the critical time period the IRS policy was being crafted,” he claims.

Richard Hasen, a “notorious speech-regulation advocate” also visited the White House and met with White House Counsel Robert Bauer on June 24, 2010, and with Nicholas Colvin in the White House Counsel’s office on June 21 and 23. Again, the FBI can find out if it asks.

“Noisy reformer” Meredith McGhee and “a number of other ivory tower academics and activists interested in controlling free political speech through the spring of 2010.”

Whose heads should roll in Big Brother scandals?

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