Texas Senator Ted Cruz grilled FBI Director James Comey about allegations that the IRS targeted members of the Tea Party during his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
“This committee has had substantial focus also on the practice of the previous IRS of targeting citizens and citizen groups based on their political speech, political views, and perceived political opposition to President Obama,” Cruz asked the FBI director. “And the previous Department of Justice, both Attorneys General Holder and Lynch, in my view stonewalled that investigation. Is the FBI currently investigating the FBI’s — or rather the IRS’ unlawful targeting of citizens for exercising political speech?”
Comey responded by asking if he meant “the investigation focusing on, particularly, groups allegedly associated with the tea party?” Which Cruz informed him that he was.
“We completed that investigation and the department declined prosecution. We worked very hard on it, put a lot of people on it, but couldn’t make what we thought was a case. And to my knowledge, it has not been reopened,” Comey said.
Relentless and determined to get answers, Cruz asked, “so, did the FBI recommend prosecution? You said you couldn’t make the case.”
“No, we couldn’t prove — again, the challenges of intent, we couldn’t prove that anybody was targeting these folks because they were conservatives or associated with the tea party. We worked very hard to see if we could make that case, we couldn’t get there,” Comey stated.
In 2014, watchdog group Judicial Watch released a batch of documents revealing that there was extensive pressure on the IRS by Democratic Senator Carl Levin to shut down tax-exempt organizations associated with the Tea Party.
“One key email string from July 2012 confirms that IRS Tea Party scrutiny was directed from Washington, DC. On July 6, 2010, Holly Paz (the former Director of the IRS Rulings and Agreements Division and current Manager of Exempt Organizations Guidance) asks IRS lawyer Steven Grodnitzky ‘to let Cindy and Sharon know how we have been handling Tea Party applications in the last few months.’ Cindy Thomas is the former director of the IRS Exempt Organizations office in Cincinnati and Sharon Camarillo was a Senior Manager in their Los Angeles office.”
Grodnitzky, a top lawyer in the Exempt Organization Technical unit (EOT) in Washington, DC, responded:
“EOT is working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. We are developing a few applications here in DC and providing copies of our development letters with the agent to use as examples in the development of their cases. Chip Hull [another lawyer in IRS headquarters] is working these cases in EOT and working with the agent in Cincy, so any communication should include him as well. Because the Tea party applications are the subject of an SCR [Sensitive Case Report], we cannot resolve any of the cases without coordinating with Rob.”
In 2016, three years after the IRS admitted to targeting tea party groups for additional scrutiny, a list of the 426 affected organizations was released.
“Sixty of the groups on the list released last month have the word “tea” in their name, 33 have ‘patriot,’ eight refer to the Constitution, and 13 have ‘912’ in their name — which is the monicker of a movement started by conservatives. Another 26 group names refer to ‘liberty,’ though that list does include some groups that are not discernibly conservative in orientation,” the Washington Times reported in June of last year.
Wednesday marked one year since Cruz dropped out of the presidential race, a top aide to the senator reminded Big League Politics.
NEW: Trump Ad Breaks Down Consequences of “Defund the Police”
Half of Democrats support defunding the police.
A new Donald J. Trump for President campaign ad breaks down the implications of the national “defund the police” movement, pointing to the considerable share of national and congressional Democrats who would push to defund law enforcement in the event of a Joe Biden victory in November.
The ad features an automated 911 call system replacing an emergency dispatcher, with a recorded voice explaining that the revocation of police funding eliminated the 911 operator. The caller is told to press an appropriate key to report a rape or murder, with the emergency phone line resembling a corporate customer service phone line designed to avoid the time-consuming process of an in-person human conversation.
Watch the ad here:
“Due to defunding of the police department, we’re sorry… But no one is here to take your call.”
Polling reveals that around 50% of Democrats support the movement to defund the police in the wake of the death of George Floyd and nationwide race riots. City officials in Minneapolis and across the country have already organized plans to neuter their municipal police departments, with councilors in the former pledging a wholesale abolition of the Minneapolis Police Department.
Biden himself has proved reluctant to endorse the police defunding movement, but it’s all but guaranteed the elder Democrat would be compromised by liberal radicals. Municipal councils that want to defund their police departments wouldn’t stand to lose any federal funding as a result of the delinquency in enforcing fundamental law and order in a Biden presidency, opening the door for liberal cities to move forward with a rejection of law enforcement entirely.
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