The White House has been very clear that they exercised no improper, political influence over the IRS. Directly that is. Someone needs to ask Obama whether he did an end run around that standard of conduct by working with the IRS union to accomplish targeting of Tea Party groups?
Writing at the American Spectator Jeffrey Lord documents close ties between Obama and the IRS union head. White House visits went hand in hand with an Executive Order which granted "employees and unions to have pre-decisional involvement in all workplace matters."
Shortly after that Executive Order was signed in December 2010 the IRS began targeting conservative groups. Lord writes:
The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees — the same employees who belong to the NTEU — set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America. The IG report wrote it up this way:The order for that change in procedure had to come from some where. This wasn't just a few rogue employees. Did the IRS union use it's new power under Obama's Executive Order, perhaps even at Obama's direction, to change IRS work procedures?
April 1-2, 2010: The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.
In short: the very day after the president of the quite publicly anti-Tea Party labor union — the union for IRS employees — met with President Obama, the manager of the IRS “Determinations Unit Program agreed” to open a “Sensitive Case report on the Tea party cases.” As stated by the IG report.
Lord goes on to point out Obama's curious answer at a press conference last week where he dodged a direct question: "Can you assure the American people that nobody in the White House knew about the agency’s actions before your Counsel’s Office found out on April 22nd?" Obama's answer: " I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through the press." Notice the disconnect?
What was the White House involvement with the IRS union? Did anyone at the White House know of the IRS targeting of the Tea Party prior to the Inspector General's report? Did Obama or White House staff direct the IRS union to effect changes in workplace procedure?
If Obama is unwilling to give direct answers to these questions then we must demand a Special Prosecutor to get the answers the hard way. If Obama used the IRS, however indirectly, it may well be a very serious matter indeed!