The lead attorney representing tea-party groups accusing the IRS of politically motivated discrimination claims Democrats on the Republican-led committee investigating the scandal, who are trying to shut down the probe, have received campaign donations from IRS employees.
Cleta Mitchell, who testified Wednesday to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, pointed out to Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer that IRS employees belong to the National Treasury Employees Union, which has directed 94 percent of its contributions to Democrats this election cycle.
The union, she said, has given to 11 of the 18 Democrats on the House Oversight Committee.
“And, every time there is a hearing on any aspect of this investigation about the IRS targeting,” Mitchell said, “the Democrats come in one by one and say the same thing over and over again. ‘Let’s shut this down. Let’s shut this down.’”
Mitchell said the Democrats need to be held accountable for obstructing the investigation.
“They were involved in starting this, and now they are trying to stop the investigation,” she said.
Mitchell said new information confirms the former head of the tax-exempt organizations division, Lois Lerner, who has refused to testify to Congress, was working with Democrats “to go after and silence these groups.”
As WND reported, Mitchell testified Wednesday to the House panel that the only solution to the IRS abuses against conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status is to repeal the 16th Amendment, end the income tax and close down the IRS.
“The IRS is such a corrupt, rotten and broken agency that it cannot be repaired,” she said.
Mitchell told the panel she is convinced the IRS has used Federal Election Commission filings of political contributions to go after individuals who contributed to Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.
“The IRS is lying when IRS officials testify there is no targeting going on to the disadvantage of conservative politicians and conservative groups,” she told members of Congress.
Under questioning by the members of the committee, Mitchell explained that in her decades representing organizations seeking tax-favored status, it was only recently, under the Obama administration, that her applications for conservative groups began being delayed for months and submitted to heavy scrutiny.
“Tea-party groups under the Obama administration were quarantined to an IRS office in Cincinnati where they were scrutinized for a period of years, and some have yet to get a determination,” she explained.
She contended the IRS achieved its desired “chilling effect” by harassing conservative groups applying for tax-favored status while giving a quick green light to progressive groups making similar applications.
“The IRS was looking to target any group that had ‘tea party’ mentioned in its name. The word ‘progressive’ was mentioned in some IRS targeting reports, but what IRS agents were instructed to do when ‘tea party’ was seen or when ‘progressive’ was seen involved two very different standards of scrutiny,” said Mitchell.
She was asked if a pattern of IRS stonewalling and lying to Congress justified the appointment of a special prosecutor.
“I don’t think there is any question there should be a special prosecutor,” Mitchell answered. “The problem is that the longer Congress waits, the harder will be the investigation, in part because of the spoilage of evidence over time.”
The Democratic members of the committee pressed the theme that the IRS also targeted progressive groups, though little support for that argument was received from the witnesses.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the Oversight Committee, in his opening statement noted the committee had asked Democrats to suggest witnesses to testify in Wednesday’s hearing but no names had been forthcoming.