By Matt Barber
Every U.S. president seems to have one primary historical hallmark – positive or negative – that characterizes his legacy. For Abraham Lincoln it was the abolition of slavery, for FDR it was the New Deal, for Bill Clinton it was Monica Lewinsky, for George W. Bush it was the Islamic terrorist attacks of 9/11, and for Barack Obama it will be, quite simply, scandal – lots and lots of scandal.
Can you imagine an alleged burglar investigating his own burglary, or a serial killer his own crimes? How far do you think those investigations would get? Well, that’s exactly what’s happening right now with this Obama administration. Those accused of illegal activity within the IRS are being “investigated” by the very executive branch to which they belong. Talk about the fox watching the hen house.
The White House’s “rogue-IRS-employees-dunnit” narrative has come apart at the seams. CBS News is now reporting that, “Two Internal Revenue Service agents working in the agency’s Cincinnati office say higher-ups in Washington directed the targeting of conservative political groups when they applied for tax-exempt status, a contention that directly contradicts claims made by the agency since the scandal erupted last month. …
“[O]ne of the agents said her work processing the applications was closely supervised by a Washington lawyer in the IRS division that handles applications for tax-exempt status, according to a transcript of her interview with congressional investigators.
“Her interview suggests a long trail of emails that could support her claim.”
This is only the beginning. We will never fully grasp the potential weight and scope of the Obama administration’s systemic abuses of power until, and unless, an already embattled Attorney General Eric Holder relents and appoints a special counsel. It’s time.
To that end, Liberty Counsel has developed a petition asking for just that. In addition to calling on the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the IRS Oversight Board to investigate this abuse of power, we are also calling for the establishment of a special counsel to conduct a thorough investigation of IRS-gate. We already have about 45,000 signatures, but would like to see half a million. (Please go here to sign the petition and help stop the targeting of conservative groups and individuals by the IRS.)
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel said: “The IRS has effectively confirmed what thoughtful Americans feared: Under the Obama administration, the IRS amassed unprecedented power and unleashed the politically driven will to provoke and abuse organizations whose agendas run counter to leftist ideologies. As we now know, this abuse of power was strategically implemented during an election season to help assure Barack Obama’s re-election and further undermine the Constitution and its guarantees of equal protection under the law.”
RGA Chairman Gov. Bobby Jindal and RGA Vice Chairman Gov. Scott Walker agree. They sent a letter to President Obama: “This is Big Brother come to life and a witch hunt to prevent Americans from exercising their First Amendment rights,” they wrote. “Here are two steps that should be taken: 1. Fire any and all employees responsible for this situation; 2. Appoint a special prosecutor now to find out if laws were broken and if anyone committed crimes.”
On Tuesday, there were a number of compelling testimonies given before the House Ways and Means Committee by leaders of conservative, Christian and Jewish organizations targeted by the Obama IRS.
Becky Gerritson, president of the Wetumpka Tea Party in Alabama, gave especially compelling testimony that was met with rousing applause. She proffered a remarkable depiction of what she endured personally and on behalf of the organization she leads. But her most hard-hitting comments were directed toward elected officials and bureaucrats: “I’m not here as a serf or a vassal,” she said. “I’m not begging my lords for mercy. I’m a born free American woman – wife, mother and citizen. And I’m telling my government that you’ve forgotten your place. It is not your responsibility to look out for my well-being and to monitor my speech. It’s not your right to assert an agenda.
“Your post, the post that you occupy, exists to preserve American liberty. You’ve sworn to perform that duty and you have faltered. The abuses I will discuss today occurred on your watch. It is your responsibility to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Indeed, Mrs. Gerritson is right. It is up to our government to make sure it doesn’t happen again; but it’s up to us to make sure our government gets moving.
“We are calling for a special counsel,” said Staver, “to spearhead the investigations exposing all who were involved – and, in particular, to find out where these illegal orders originated. …
“The IRS abuses during an election cycle, Benghazi-gate, the seizing of reporter email – all of which were preceded by the Fast and Furious scandal and the corruption surrounding the passage of Obamacare – are all symptoms of an out of control government,” he continued. “Join me in calling for the establishment of a special counsel to examine the IRS’ abuse of power and to hold those responsible accountable.”
The American people agree. According to a report from The Hill, “A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released late Tuesday shows 55 percent believe the IRS targeting of conservative groups raised questions about the administration’s ‘overall honesty and integrity.’
“Fifty-eight percent say the administration’s handling of the Benghazi [mission] attack also raises questions about the honesty of the White House. The same number say the Justice Department’s subpoenaing of reporter email and phone records in national security leak investigations also raises concerns.”
These and other chilling invasions of privacy by this Orwellian Obama administration have even prompted the hard-left New York Times to opine that the “administration has lost all credibility.”
I wasn’t aware it had any credibility to begin with.
(Please make your voice heard. Sign the petition today.)
Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.)