This is from the Washington Times. (H/T ECM)
The IRS’s director of privacy, governmental liaison and disclosure division testified Wednesday that the tax agency set up a special team with hundreds of lawyers to handle the probe into whether Tea Party groups were targeted, but repeatedly said she had no idea how it operated.
Mary Howard, who also works as the head Freedom of Information Act officer in the IRS, told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that once the “special project team” was created and operational, she never saw requests for information.
“My understanding was that it started soon after the request came from Congress and other investigators asking for documents around this whole issue,” which she surmised meant around spring of 2013.
Asked who was on the team, she said: “My first hand knowledge of that is none.” But she did say the Chief Council of the IRS — one of only two political appointees in the IRS; the other is the commissioner — was on the “special project team,” as were “hundreds of attorneys.”
She said her office did not interact with the White House, but asked whether the “special project team” did, said: “I have no personal knowledge of how that team acted except that I know they amassed hundreds of attorneys to go through the documents and redact them.”
[…]Congress held Lerner in contempt after she claimed she did not know about the targeting, but then later took the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering questions. She was never prosecuted by the Justice Department, but two dozen House members want new Attorney General Loretta Lynch to pursue charges.
Just to be clear – “go through the documents and redact them” means conceal information from Congressional oversight.
This is the very definition of a cover-up. As if we did not have enough scandals in this administration already. We must be up to about a dozen Watergates already.
The ACLJ notes that this is not the first shifty behaviour from the IRS lawyers – delaying the applications of Tea Party groups for years:
According to multiple IRS attorneys in D.C., including tax law specialist Carter Hull, who oversaw the review of the Tea Party cases, Lois Lerner, former Director at the Exempt Organizations Division, and her top advisor directed that certain Tea Party applications as part of a “test” group be sent to her office and IRS Chief Counsel for review in the winter of 2010-2011.
Chief Counsel’s office, after months more of delay, then demanded Mr. Hull make further inquiries of the Tea Party. According to the testimony, it was Chief Counsel’s office that was demanding to know more information about the conservative groups’ activities “right before the  election period. In other words, immediately before.”
In addition, the testimony indicates that the Chief Counsel’s office was heavily involved in preparing a template for handling these cases, something Mr. Hull testified was impractical “because these organizations, all of them are different. A template wouldn’t work.” Yet, as he testified, a template was prepared by someone in Chief Counsel’s office in conjunction with other tax law specialists. Even more disturbing he testified that after three years, IRS Chief Counsel’s office had not made a determination about these “test” Tea Party cases, even though in 2011, Mr. Hull had all the information he needed to make a recommendation as to their request for tax-exempt status.
The ACLJ has an ongoing lawsuit on behalf of many of the conservative / pro-life / Christian groups that were targeted by the IRS. It’s times like this where I wonder what my friend the evangelical woman who voted twice for Obama would say. She is the one who is for environmentalism and big government, you remember. Well, there’s your big government right there, Jessica. Surprise! They don’t like Christians or conservatives.