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It was the scandal that echoed around the world for Conservatives and Tea Party groups. As a result of the ruling in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, the number of nonprofit organizations applying for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the Tax Code increases dramatically.

This caused a BOLO (Be On The Lookout) to be issued in an effort to deal with the increased traffic.  As a result, applications from Tea Party and Patriot organizations were flagged and during an American Bar Association (ABA) meeting, then acting Director of Exempt Organizations, Lois Lerner, reveals that organizations were targeted for their beliefs, stating –

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“They selected cases simply because the applications had [Tea Party or Patriots] in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive.”

Stemming from the fallout of the scandal, more than 200 IRS personnel were fired for their unethical and even criminal actions in connection with the targeting of conservatives.  Yet according to a report from the Office of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, 213 people were rehired by the IRS.  Many of them the very same people that were fired for their actions with regard to targeting Conservative groups.

Of those rehired four of them were fired for failure to properly file their OWN income taxes.  Another four of these individuals were fired for improperly accessing tax payers’ personal information.  86 people left while they were being questioned regarding personal leave or time off for “questionable” purposes or abuse of the leave policy, disruption of the workplace, or insubordination and failure to follow instructions.  27 additional people were fired after it was discovered that they failed to disclose a conviction or being fired from a previous employer on their initial job application.

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The report was initially ordered due to concerns over lax hiring practices at the IRS and it seems those concerns were very valid.

According to the report –

“The IRS has not effectively updated or implemented hiring policies to fully consider past IRS conduct and performance issues prior to making a tentative decision to hire former employees, including those who were terminated or separated during an investigation of a substantiated conduct or performance issue.”

Of some 7,500 people hired within the evaluation, 213 individuals raised a red flag.  Since returning to the employ of the IRS, six of those same people have already been flagged for improper conduct since their return.

The report states –

“Although the IRS may have had a valid basis to rehire some of the more than 200 former employees with prior conduct or performance issues, TIGTA has serious concerns about the IRS’s decision to rehire certain employees, such as those who willfully failed to meet their Federal tax responsibilities.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) strongly criticized the IRS, stating –

“You could simplify all that and say they rehired 200-some people who were cheating, lying, and snooping on the American taxpayer. That’s what they were doing and, ‘Oh, we’re going to rehire them now and let them work in the Internal Revenue Service.

You can’t make this stuff up, can you? Just when you think you’ve heard it all about the IRS, they go and rehire people who have had this kind of background. It is truly unbelievable.”

Rep. Jordan led the effort to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for obstructing congressional efforts to investigate the IRS targeting of conservative organizations applying for nonprofit status. This effort was tabled by the likes of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) with claims that it would “set a bad precedent” to impeach the Commissioner.

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It seems to me as an American taxpayer myself that it sets a bad precedent to allow an agency to continue to abuse the American people and those responsible not be held accountable.  It makes people think that they can simply do as they choose with no repercussions. To allow an agency that wields the power of the IRS to literally freeze all assets and potentially liquidate everything a person has via levy, seizure, garnishment, lien and even imprisonment, yet has the reputation of using that power to target particular people WITH those powers to single them out simply because they might disagree with that person’s religious or political views flies in the face of everything that America is supposed to stand for.  It literally makes a mockery of the Constitutional principles.

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In fact, Rep. Jordan confirmed that the exact same corrupt culture exists at the IRS and nothing whatsoever has changed.

Rep. Jordan stated –

“Remember what they did when they got caught targeting, systematically, for a sustained period of time, they were going after people based on their political beliefs. Political speech rights were under attack by an agency with the power, the clout, the potential influence on your life that the IRS has, that’s what they were doing.

It boggles the mind that the same people are still [there]. You almost want to laugh, but you can’t because it’s so serious.  

There are a lot of things that make taxpayers mad but a couple in particular: one is when politicians don’t do what they said. A second one is when you have this kind of egregious behavior from the people whose salaries we pay “And, frankly, the third is – and it goes along with the second – is this idea that there are two standards, one set of rules if you and I do something wrong but a different set if you’re part of the politically connected class. If your name is Clinton, Comey, Koskinen, Lerner, Lynch, you get a different set of rules than us regular folk. That’s the part that really bugs the American taxpayer, as well it should.”

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Rep. Jordan claims that he fully intends to pursue hearings on this matter before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, as well as another subcommittee that he chairs will be having hearings on this.  Yet even that seems to be little more than a dog and pony show itself as Congress literally has no power over IRS personnel decisions other than to bring them to light for the American people.

Koskinen’s term ends in November and President Trump will have the opportunity to begin the road to addressing these egregious crimes against the American people as he makes the choice for Koskinen’s replacement for a new IRS Commissioner.

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