2010 video surfaces; IRS’s Lerner admits to political pressure

She’s been publicly quiet since taking the Fifth in front of congressional investigators in May, but IRS official Lois Lerner openly acknowledged in a 2010 video the political pressure on the IRS to “fix the problem” of money going into conservative political action.

After the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that allowed corporations to participate in the political process through campaign funding, the pressure was intense.

loislerner“Everyone is up in arms because they don’t like it,” Lerner told students at Duke University’s School of Public Policy in a video published on Breitbart.com Tuesday. “(The) Federal Election Commission can’t do anything about it; they want the IRS to fix the problem.”

According to Breitbart’s John Sexton, the video was shot on Oct. 19, 2010, two weeks before a general election that gave Republicans a majority in the House of Representatives  –  and came close to stopping Obamacare in its tracks before it passed in a lame-duck Congress in late fall.

“So everybody is screaming at us right now, ‘Fix it now before the election. Can’t you see how much these people are spending?'”

What’s interesting here is what Lerner apparently thought of as “everyone” and “everybody.”

Opposition to the Citizens United decision was overwhelmingly  Democrat – made infamous by President Obama’s disgraceful attack on the Supreme Court during his state-of-the-union speech on Jan. 27, 2010, a week after the decision was handed down.

By October, 2010, the IRS was under pressure to “fix the problem” caused by
Citizens United but couldn’t. In November, 2010, the president’s party lost control of the House.

So with the president having  made his feelings clear, and the election results showing a clear rebuke to the president’s party, is it any wonder that the IRS – led by Lerner, who was in charge of deciding what organizations got tax exemptions – started a crackdown aimed at starving conservative groups of the money they would need to fight the president’s re-election two years later?

As Sexton writes: “It is also noteworthy that Lois Lerner paraphrases President Obama’s framing of the issue when she says, ‘the Supreme Court dealt it a huge blow, overturning a 100-year-old precedent that said, basically, corporations can give directly in political campaigns.’”

Thanks mainly to U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the House is investigating how deeply the White House was involved in the IRS targeting of conservative groups to limit their fundraising activities.

But this video is enough, if there still were any doubts. The woman who now refuses to testify about deliberately using her powers as an IRS official to hinder conservative political organizing admits that “everybody is screaming at us” to fix Citizens United, and parrots Obama practically verbatim while she’s doing it.

Lerner took her orders. She couldn’t “fix it now, before the election” in 2010. But she could spend the next two years fixing the problem for 2012. And she did.

And now she won’t talk about it.


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