House Republicans are perusing a direct link between Obama and the IRS targeting of conservative groups, specifically Tea Party groups. Democrats have released a report detailing dozens of examples that they say prove Obama and fellow Democrats pressured the agency to act.
According to the 77-page report released Monday by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the group Citizens United was among the IRS’s first and biggest targets which was initiated by Obama’s January 2010 State of the Union Address in which he “delivered a stunning rebuke” of the Supreme Court decision in favor of the group Citizens United.
The decision in part allowed campaign donors to remain anonymous.
“The Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests,” Obama said in the address. “I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse by foreign entities. … And I’d urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.”
“IRS employees read and acted upon the news reports,” the committee report concludes. “Put simply, as the president’s political rhetoric drove the national dialogue and shaped public opinion, the IRS received and responded to the political stimuli.”
The report includes out-takes from approximately 100 news stories, lawmakers’ remarks and Lerner emails through 2013 which argues that Obama continued his “rhetorical assault” in campaign-style speeches across the country and that the IRS within a month of his national address began targeting the tax-exempt applications.
Of course the White House did not respond to a request for comment on the report, but responded to congressional Republicans’ complaints about missing Lerner emails.