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Posts tagged ‘Cleta Mitchell’

Cleta Mitchell: IRS Targeting of Conservatives Continues.


Image: Cleta Mitchell: IRS Targeting of Conservatives ContinuesCleta Mitchell testifies on Capitol Hill on Feb. 6. On the panel with Mitchell are, from left, Catherine Engelbrecht, Founder of King Street Patriots, Becky Gerritson, Founder and President Wetumpka Tea Party, Inc., and Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel American Center for Law and Justice.

By David A. Patten

Explosive testimony lit up a House hearing on the IRS targeting scandal Thursday, as GOP super lawyer Cleta Mitchell told representatives that the systematic effort to delay the processing of grass-roots groups applications for nonprofit status continues to occur.

Mitchell represents several grass-roots conservative organizations whose applications under sections 501C3 and 501C4 of the internal revenue code were delayed for years in the run-up to the 2012 election. She said that targeting had not stopped.

Editor’s Note: Govt Prohibited From Helping Seniors (Shocking) 

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Fox News on Thursday that the effort to suppress conservative voices was “almost Nixonian,” noting President Obama said in a recent interview that there was “not even a smidgeon” of corruption involved in the apparent IRS effort to chill conservative groups after the tea party movement emerged in February 2009.

“How could you possibly say that when Lois Lerner in charge of tax-exempt groups pled the fifth?” Graham asked.

Also testifying Monday was Jay Sekulow, head of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). ACLJ officials also contend the IRS targeting continues to this day.

There were 41 grassroots groups named as plaintiffs in the ACLJ lawsuit alleging widespread abuses of the First Amendment rights of assembly and free speech by the Obama administration and the IRS. Of those, 13 still have not yet received adjudication of their request for non-profit status.

The oldest of those 13 pending applications for nonprofit status dates back to December 2009, French says. That would mean at least one group has been sidelined through two election cycles, with a third rapidly approaching.

Of the 13 groups in limbo, two sought 501c3 non-profit status and the other 11 sought 501c4 status as “social welfare” organizations, French said.

According to the ACLJ, five other groups joined the lawsuit after withdrawing their nonprofit applications due to frustration over the IRS approval process. Also, two of the plaintiffs refused to answer IRS questions that they considered unconstitutional, which led to the IRS closing their nonprofit applications without further consideration.

The proposed new IRS regulations seek to limit 501c4 groups’ activities. Conservative activists say the rules have exacerbated their sense of uncertainty and intimidation.

“Of course that has a chilling effect,” says French. “And until it is decisively and emphatically stopped through public, legal accountability, that chilling effect is likely to linger.”

Mitchell, who represents grass-roots conservative activists not included in the ACLJ lawsuit, recently echoed the view that conservative groups continue to be singled out in the run-up to the 2014 elections.

“The IRS is still, very deliberately targeting conservative organizations and subjecting them to additional intense and burdensome scrutiny — and this has not stopped,” she said. “This is still ongoing.”

According to House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan, the new proposed IRS regulations, which were first unveiled in November, appear to single out as political activity the precise sorts of programs tea party organizations typically run: Candidate forums, voter registration drives, and distributions of voter guides.

In a column published in the February edition of Newsmax Magazine, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley A. Strassel contends that conservative groups are much more likely to become ensnared in the new proposed limitations.

She notes that neither unions, which conduct most of their activities as 501c5 groups, nor 501c3 organizations such as the liberal League of Women Voters Education Fund, are affected. That’s because the rules were not written to apply to those types of nonprofits.

The reaction of conservative activists has grown increasingly strident. Everett Wilkinson, chairman of the grass-roots National Liberty Federation organization, tells Newsmax:

“Never before have we seen such attitudes and actions taken in America by an administration or government body.

“They are intentionally trying to silence the voices of millions of Americans, who all they want is to be heard.”

Wilkinson said his organization is closely following nine critical Senate races that could flip either way. But the fear of some that they could become targets of the IRS is having an impact, he says.

“Through this intimidation a lot of people have said, ‘I don’t know if I want to risk the IRS or the Treasury Department or whoever they’re going to send after me,’” he says.

Recent remarks by Democrats appear to have exacerbated conservatives’ concern that the IRS has been politicized.

In January, New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer urged the IRS to “redouble [its] efforts immediately” to constrain the tea parties.

Urgent: Is Obama Telling the Truth on IRS, Benghazi Scandals? 

During his Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, President Obama said there was “not even a smidgeon of corruption” involved. This despite the fact that the FBI has yet to release the findings of its investigation.

Such remarks appear aimed at energizing a Democratic base that has seen tea party nonprofits as fair game ever since the Citizens United ruling made it easier for corporations to get involved in politics.

Curiously, the IRS targeting has had relatively little impact on the major activist groups that raise millions of dollars each year.

A recent New York Times story reported that four major conservative organizations — FreedomWorks, Tea Party Patriots, the Club for Growth Action Fund, and the Senate Conservatives Fund — are actually outraising their more establishment GOP counterparts such as Crossroads GPS.

But unlike the big groups that can afford to “lawyer up,” it is the smaller activist organizations all over the country — with names like Linchpins of Liberty, Colorado 9/12 Project, First State Patriots, Mid-South Tea Party, and American Patriots Against Government Excess — who have been ensnared by the long arm of the IRS.

Those smaller organizations are believed to play a key role in getting out the vote in local neighborhoods.

Wilkinson praises the myriad local tea parties as “the most effective system out there, compared to the Republican consulting groups that get millions of dollars in TV ads and radio ads.

“They put every dollar they have in, and their heart and soul. They’re getting people to the polls for maybe pennies on the dollar.”

How those groups will fare as the tax laws they must comply with grow increasingly complex and demanding is open to question.

French says the proposed IRS rules will mean “an enormous amount of activity undertaken on the basis of issues, is now re-characterized as political, and now subject to limits.

“That essentially takes a group’s ability to engage in issue advocacy and then completely neuters it in the days and the weeks leading up to an election, by defining political activity so very broadly,” he adds.

When the targeting controversy first broke last May, President Obama said the IRS targeting was “inexcusable,” and added: “I’m angry about it.”

The “social welfare” and issue-advocacy 501c4 organizations have received special attention in part because their donors’ names generally do not have to be disclosed.

The controversy over IRS targeting dates back to May 2013. That’s when former IRS executive Lois Lerner revealed that IRS personnel had acted in what she called an “absolutely inappropriate” way by holding up the non-profit applications of groups with the terms “tea party,” “patriot,” or “9/12” in their names.

The IRS asked the targeted groups to answer intrusive questionnaires regarding their activities — ranging from information on their members’ employers, donors lists, and even in one case how much time a particular organization spent “on prayer groups.”

At the time, GOP Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, received several complaints. He wrote a letter of inquiry to then-acting IRS Commissioner Stephen T. Miller.

Miller wrote back with assurances that no conservative groups were being targeted. But not long after Lerner’s disclosure, Miller was asked to resign.

The Obama administration has portrayed the IRS affair as a limited imbroglio involving a few rogue agents in the IRS’s Cincinnati office.

But Mitchell says several of her clients were told a final decision on their applications would be handed down from IRS offices in Washington, D.C.

Not every grass-roots leader is concerned that conservative activists’ IRS problems will work to Democrats’ advantage, however. Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer is among those predicting it will backfire.

“When all this came out about the IRS targeting, it made people mad,” she tells Newsmax. “It made them mad as hell.

“…You get these individuals, under whatever local group, they don’t care: They’re going to go out there, and work their hearts and souls out for the cause.”

Editor’s Note: Govt Prohibited From Helping Seniors (Shocking) 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Proposed IRS Regs Threaten GOP’s 2014 Senate Push.


Proposed new IRS regulations, combined with the intense ongoing scrutiny of grass-roots conservative groups, could suppress their get-out-the-vote activity enough to hand Democrats the one or two races they need to keep control of the Senate, conservative leaders warn.

“Once caught red-handed,” American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) Senior Counsel David French said, “the administration didn’t change its goal [of] suppressing the free speech of these conservative groups.

”It’s just shifted methods. The ends are the same, only the means have changed,” he says.

Of the 41 grassroots groups named as plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) — a case alleging widespread abuses of the First Amendment rights of assembly and free speech by the Obama administration and the IRS — 13 still have not yet received an adjudication on their request for non-profit status.

The oldest of those 13 pending applications to the IRS for nonprofit status dates back to December 2009, French says. That would mean at least one group has been sidelined through two election cycles, with a third rapidly approaching.

Of the 13 groups in limbo, two sought 501c3 non-profit status and the other 11 sought 501c4 status as “social welfare” organizations, French said.

According to the ACLJ, five other groups joined the lawsuit after withdrawing their nonprofit applications due to frustration over the IRS approval process. Also, two of the plaintiffs refused to answer IRS questions that they considered unconstitutional, which led to the IRS closing their nonprofit applications without further consideration.

The proposed new IRS regulations seek to limit 501c4 groups’ activities. Conservative activists say the rules have exacerbated their sense of uncertainty and intimidation.

“Of course that has a chilling effect,” says French. “And until it is decisively and emphatically stopped through public, legal accountability, that chilling effect is likely to linger.”

Washington GOP super lawyer Cleta Mitchell, who represents grass-roots conservative activists not included in the ACLJ lawsuit, recently echoed the view that conservative groups continue to be singled out in the run-up to the 2014 elections.

“The IRS is still, very deliberately targeting conservative organizations and subjecting them to additional intense and burdensome scrutiny — and this has not stopped,” she said. “This is still ongoing.”

According to House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan, the new proposed IRS regulations, which were first unveiled in November, appear to single out as political activity the precise sorts of programs tea party organizations typically run: Candidate forums, voter registration drives, and distributions of voter guides.

In a column published in the February edition of Newsmax Magazine, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley A. Strassel contends that conservative groups are much more likely to become ensnared in the new proposed limitations.

She notes that neither unions, which conduct most of their activities as 501c5 groups, nor 501c3 organizations such as the liberal League of Women Voters Education Fund, are affected. That’s because the rules were not written to apply to those types of nonprofits.

The reaction of conservative activists has grown increasingly strident. Everett Wilkinson, chairman of the grass-roots National Liberty Federation organization, tells Newsmax: “Never before have we seen such attitudes and actions taken in America by an administration or government body.

“They are intentionally trying to silence the voices of millions of Americans, who all they want is to be heard.”

Wilkinson said his organization is closely following nine critical Senate races that could flip either way. But the fear of some that they could become targets of the IRS is having an impact, he says.

“Through this intimidation a lot of people have said, ‘I don’t know if I want to risk the IRS or the Treasury Department or whoever they’re going to send after me,’” he says.

Recent remarks by Democrats appear to have exacerbated conservatives’ concern that the IRS has been politicized.

In January, New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer urged the IRS to “redouble [its] efforts immediately” to constrain the tea parties.

During his Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, President Obama said there was “not even a smidgeon of corruption” involved. This despite the fact that the FBI has yet to release the findings of its investigation.

Such remarks appear aimed at energizing a Democratic base that has seen tea party nonprofits as fair game ever since the Citizens United ruling made it easier for corporations to get involved in politics.

Curiously, the IRS targeting has had relatively little impact on the major activist groups that raise millions of dollars each year.

A recent New York Times story reported that four major conservative organizations — FreedomWorks, Tea Party Patriots, the Club for Growth Action Fund, and the Senate Conservatives Fund — are actually outraising their more establishment GOP counterparts such as Crossroads GPS.

But unlike the big groups that can afford to “lawyer up,” it is the smaller activist organizations all over the country — with names like Linchpins of Liberty, Colorado 9/12 Project, First State Patriots, Mid-South Tea Party, and American Patriots Against Government Excess — who have been ensnared by the long arm of the IRS. Those smaller organizations are believed to play a key role in getting out the vote in local neighborhoods.

Wilkinson praises the myriad local tea parties as “the most effective system out there, compared to the Republican consulting groups that get millions of dollars in TV ads and radio ads.

“They put every dollar they have in, and their heart and soul. They’re getting people to the polls for maybe pennies on the dollar.”

How those groups will fare as the tax laws they must comply with grow increasingly complex and demanding is open to question.

French says the proposed IRS rules will mean “an enormous amount of activity undertaken on the basis of issues, is now re-characterized as political, and now subject to limits.

“That essentially takes a group’s ability to engage in issue advocacy and then completely neuters it in the days and the weeks leading up to an election, by defining political activity so very broadly,” he adds.

When the targeting controversy first broke last May, President Obama said the IRS targeting was “inexcusable,” and added: “I’m angry about it.”

The “social welfare” and issue-advocacy 501c4 organizations have received special attention in part because their donors’ names generally do not have to be disclosed.

The controversy over IRS targeting dates back to May 2013. That’s when former IRS executive Lois Lerner revealed that IRS personnel had acted in what she called an “absolutely inappropriate” way by holding up the non-profit applications of groups with the terms “tea party,” “patriot,” or “9/12” in their names.

The IRS asked the targeted groups to answer intrusive questionnaires regarding their activities — ranging from information on their members’ employers, donors lists, and even in one case how much time a particular organization spent “on prayer groups.”

At the time, GOP Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, received several complaints. He wrote a letter of inquiry to then-acting IRS Commissioner Stephen T. Miller.

Miller wrote back with assurances that no conservative groups were being targeted. But not long after Lerner’s disclosure, Miller was asked to resign.

The Obama administration has portrayed the IRS affair as a limited imbroglio involving a few rogue agents in the IRS’s Cincinnati office.

But Mitchell says several of her clients were told a final decision on their applications would be handed down from IRS offices in Washington, D.C.

Not every grass-roots leader is concerned that conservative activists’ IRS problems will work to Democrats’ advantage, however. Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer is among those predicting it will backfire.

“When all this came out about the IRS targeting, it made people mad,” she tells Newsmax. “It made them mad as hell.

“…You get these individuals, under whatever local group, they don’t care: They’re going to go out there, and work their hearts and souls out for the cause.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

By David A. Patten

IRS Off the Hook: No Criminal Charges Over Tea Party Targeting.


The FBI is not planning to file criminal charges involving the Internal Revenue Service’s extra scrutiny of the Tea Party and other conservative groups, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing law enforcement officials.

The newspaper quoted officials as saying that investigators probing the IRS actions, which unleashed a political furor in Washington, did not uncover the type of political bias or “enemy hunting” that would constitute a criminal violation. The evidence showed a mismanaged agency enforcing rules it did not understand on applications for tax exemptions, the Journal reported.

The case is still under investigation, but criminal charges were unlikely unless unexpected evidence emerged, officials familiar with the probe told the paper.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment when queried by Reuters.

If there are no criminal charges as expected, the FBI is likely to see a backlash from already skeptical conservative groups which had raised the idea that the administration would not police itself.

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa last week questioned whether a prosecutor handling the case for the Justice Department could remain impartial when he donated to the Obama campaign.

And just last week, The Washington Times reported that some conservative groups were only just being contacted  by the IRS, raising the question of just how thorough an investigation the FBI conducted.

Cleta Mitchell, another attorney representing some of the targeted groups, said last week her clients have not heard from investigators.

“Normally, don’t you first interview the victims?” Mitchell said. “I mean, I’ve watched enough cop shows over the years. You interview the victims. You don’t interview the perp.”

FBI Director James Comey told reporters last week when asked about the IRS probe, “It’s an investigation that we’re still working, and that’s an important one for us.” He declined to comment on whether the FBI believed a crime had been committed.

In May, a senior IRS executive made an unexpected public apology at a legal conference for what she described as improper scrutiny by the agency of conservative political groups.

The apology set off weeks of investigation and controversy, culminating in findings that Tea Party-linked political groups applying for tax-exempt status had been subjected to extra review and delay by employees at an IRS Cincinnati field office.

Republican lawmakers attacked President Barack Obama’s administration over the issue, accusing the agency of political bias.

Obama asked then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller to resign in the days after the disclosure, and the FBI opened an investigation.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

FBI Finally Contacts Conservative Groups in IRS Targeting.


Image: FBI Finally Contacts Conservative Groups in IRS Targeting

 

By Sandy Fitzgerald

The FBI is contacting some conservative groups that were targeted by the Internal Revenue Service as calls heat up for a key Justice Department investigator to step down from the probe after questions about her donations to President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.

A lawyer working with some of the tea party groups told The Washington Times that a “small number” of his clients were recently contacted, albeit seven months after the investigation was to begin.

“After seven months of no contact from federal investigators, a small number of our clients recently received a request for an interview from the FBI,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice, which represents more than three dozen of the organizations.

Cleta Mitchell, another attorney representing some of the targeted groups, said her clients have not heard from investigators.

“Normally, don’t you first interview the victims?” Mitchell said. “I mean, I’ve watched enough cop shows over the years. You interview the victims. You don’t interview the perp.”

Republicans, though, say the whole investigation is under question following the selection of Justice Department attorney Barbara Kay Bosserman to lead the probe. Bosserman donated more than $6,000 to the president’s campaigns, and Republicans say she cannot be impartial.

House Speaker John Boehner said he is concerned by the Obama administration’s many obstructions on not only the IRS investigation, but many other issues.

“The administration has not been forthcoming with regard to the IRS investigation,” the Ohio Republican said. “Furthermore, they’ve not been forthcoming when it comes to the Benghazi investigation or Fast and Furious. And the administration can try to stonewall as much as they want, but these issues are not going to go away. The American people have a right to know the truth. And for the administration that came in five years ago promising to be the most transparent administration in history, they’ve got a very poor record.”

Meanwhile, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul called for independent investigations into the IRS scandal.

“They say the fox isn’t good to guard the henhouse; the fox is probably not good to investigate the henhouse, either,” Paul said Thursday. “I think these investigations need to be done by independent people outside of the administration.”

Last spring, Attorney General Eric Holder ordered an FBI investigation after it was revealed the IRS had been targeting conservative groups for additional scrutiny and delaying tax-exempt status for hundreds of groups’ applications.

However, not much has been done with the investigation since that time, and House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and co-chair Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, complained last month that the committee still has not gotten related documents.

While the FBI rejected many of Issa’s demands for documents, he learned Bosserman was leading the investigation for the Justice Department, and on Wednesday he and Jordan sent a letter to Holder saying her selection tainted the entire investigation.

The Justice Department says federal law and policy prevents it from denying assignments based on an employee’s political views, and doing so violates workers’ rights right to participate in the political process, The Washington Times reports.

Sekulow said his firm’s clients are evaluating FBI’s requests, but Bosserman’s political leanings “create a serious conflict of interest and raises more questions and doubts about the Obama administration’s promise to get to the bottom of what happened.”

The FBI refused comment, pointing to a letter sent on Dec. 31 by Stephen Kelly, assistant director for the agency’s office of congressional affairs.

“We would request that the committee permit the investigators to complete their investigation and consult with federal prosecutors, as appropriate, to determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any statutes within our jurisdiction,” said Kelly. “As a result, we cannot provide the documents requested at this time while the criminal investigation is active and ongoing.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Tea Party Backers Slam Chamber’s $50M Assault as ‘Insane’.


Tea party supporters on Friday blasted a plan by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to spend $50 million to support establishment and business-friendly Republican candidates in next year’s congressional elections.

“It’s insane,” Cleta Mitchell, one of Washington’s most respected elections attorneys, told Newsmax. “It’s based on false assumptions.

Editor’s Note: Obama’s Budget Takes Aim at Retired Americans 

“When they say, ‘no fools on the ticket,’ the fact of the matter is that there were some centrist candidates who were the establishment favorites who lost in 2012,” Mitchell added. “That’s fine if they want to spend that money, but I think it’s going to be wasted money — and I don’t think it’s going to do any good in the final analysis.”

Chris Chocola, president of the Club for Growth, called the move “misguided in many respects. I’m all for political free speech. People can participate in the political process — and it’s good when they do.

“But the problem with a lot of the groups is that they don’t really care about what the candidates believe,” Chocola added. “They just care what party label they have — and in this case, it’s Republican.”

The Washington-based chamber, established in 1912, said that it would spend $50 million supporting centrist Republican candidates who are running for the House of Representatives and the Senate next year.

“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” Scott Reed, the chamber’s strategist, told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”

The chamber has expressed its dissatisfaction with such tea party-backed senators as Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, both of whom resisted passing a budget this year without a provision to defund Obamacare.

The move led of a 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government in October, costing taxpayers $1.4 billion.

“To repeal Obamacare and stop the spending spree, we must win at least six seats in the U.S. Senate now held by liberal Democrats,” Grover Norquist , president of Americans for Tax Reform, told Newsmax. “The good news is that the tea party movement, the Chamber of Commerce and the nation need the GOP to nominate solid conservative candidates who will win in the general election in November.

“We must unite to nominate strong, competent, constitutionalist candidates capable of winning first the primary and then the general election in November,” Norquist added.

“And we will.”

Tom Borelli, senior fellow for FreedomWorks, characterized the chamber’s pledge as more of the same from an organization that regularly backs big government and big business.

“The tea party is about lowering costs,” Borelli told Newsmax. “They’ll want regulations to favor big business.”

Tea party candidates represent a threat to big government, he said, and without the chamber’s huge commitment, many candidates “would be afraid to take on the tea party.”

Both Mitchell and Chocola pointed to such establishment Republican candidates who lost their Senate races last year as George Allen in Virginia, Rick Berg in North Dakota, Denny Rehberg in Montana, and Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin.

“That’s who they wanted — and they all lost,” Mitchell said. “The thing that I think is really crazy is to not realize is that the tea party is the grass roots. It’s really the energy. Those are the volunteers.

“That’s where the energy will come from,” she added. “It will not come from the Chamber of Commerce running TV ads.”

Chocola said that “the lessons from 2012 don’t seem to be learned,” asking, “Why did they all lose?

“They were all establishment-backed candidates. No outside groups tampered with their races, or you can’t blame anybody for interfering in what the establishment thought was a clear path to victory.

“They all lost because they really didn’t articulate things that Republicans say they are for,” Chocola added. “It’s always more important what the candidates believe rather than what party label they attach to their candidacy.”

The Club for Growth is supporting these tea party-backed GOP Senate candidates next fall: Midland University President Ben Sasse in Nebraska; Rep. Tom Cotton in Arkansas; and state Sen. Chris McDaniel in Mississippi.

In addition, Chocola, Norquist and Mitchell all noted that two GOP candidates that did not get tea party support last year, former Rep. Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, lost their senate races over negative comments about pregnancy and rape.

“It was not a surprise that Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock lost,” Chocola said. “They said things you can’t say. Akin and Mourdock were distractions.”

“Nominating candidates like Akin, who made criminally stupid comments about rape, is not conservative,” Norquist said. “It serves the interests of Obama and the left.”

Mitchell concurred.

“Todd Akin was the nominee in a state where he didn’t have to have a runoff, he didn’t have to get a majority — and the Democrats put money behind him to help make sure he was the nominee because he was the weakest candidate.”

But she went even further, questioning the Republican mainstream’s choice for the White House, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“He was the nominee that all the GOP establishment wanted — and that’s what we got. The tea party, grass-roots people supported him in the general election, but they didn’t want him,” she said. “But they supported him.

“And he wasn’t a conservative. He was more moderate, more centrist — and they got him,” Mitchell added. “Now, why didn’t he win?”

Mitchell, however, raised a larger question in light of the chamber’s new effort.

“Let’s say they pick a side in the primary, and their candidate loses,” she posed. “Are they going to support the nominee?

“They always expect conservatives to support whatever centrist gets nominated,” she added. “In 2010, the reason some of the tea party candidates lost is because the establishment did not support them in the general election.

“There are false assumptions that are bandied about in terms of the conventional wisdom in Washington — and, like most of the things that are the conventional wisdom of the Washington establishment, a lot of their facts are wrong.

“If they want to spend $50 million on this — I think it’s ridiculous — but more power to them,” Mitchell added, referring to the chamber. “It’s a free country — still, for a little while.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Todd Beamon and Sandy Fitzgerald

Issa: FBI Impeding IRS Investigation.


Rep. Darrell Issa claims the FBI has delayed handing over information he requested about the Internal Revenue Service targeting of the conservative group True the Vote. Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he may issue a subpoena.

According to Issa and Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the committee is still waiting for documents related to the FBI’s investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups that it began six months ago, The Washington Times reported.

In a letter to FBI Director James B. Comey Jr., Issa and Jordan they say no information has been released, and the FBI has refused to allow the assistant director overseeing the investigation to brief the committee in person after saying it would.

Issa and Jordan allege political meddling, since the briefing was turned down after FBI officials met with the Justice Department.

“The department’s tactics have impeded a congressional investigation and interfered with the committee’s access to documents and information,” they wrote. “Obstructing a congressional investigation is a crime.”

They have given the FBI until Dec. 16 to respond.

The FBI declined to comment on the letter, but said it plans to respond to the congressmen in writing.

The Justice Department said questions about its involvement in the investigation should be sent to the FBI.

It was revealed in May that the IRS was giving additional scrutiny to conservative groups seeking nonprofit status.

True the Vote is an election-integrity group from Texas that was targeted by the IRS and was finally approved in September — three years after applying for 501(c)(3) status.

The group filed a lawsuit against the IRS in May with the help of attorney Cleta Mitchell, who is representing six groups claiming they were targeted by the IRS when they applied for tax-exempt status.

Mitchell told Newsmax that she believes the campaign targeting conservative and tea party groups can be traced to President Barack Obama and top administration officials, based on evidence she has.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Courtney Coren

DOJ, IRS Grant True the Vote Tax-exempt Status.


The scandal-scarred IRS has agreed to grant tax-exempt status to True the Vote, the Texas-based “election integrity” group that became one of the tea party and conservative organizations targeted by the tax collector.

True the Vote announced Monday the IRS and the Justice Department consented late Friday to grant its application for 501(c)(3) status.

True the Vote calls itself a voters’ rights organization, and was involved in efforts cleaning up voter rolls in some states, deterring fraud in Texas elections and verifying signatures in the Wisconsin governor recall election, according to the Washington Times

But earlier this year, the group discovered it was among a slew of applications the IRS had been scrutinizing and turned around to sue the agency to force it to approve the application.

News of the Internal Revenue Service decision came the same day the retirement of Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the agency’s tea party scandal, was announced.

True the Vote lawyer Cleta Mitchell said the fight with the IRS is far from over.

“This lawsuit is about getting to the truth and we are not going to stop until we find out the answers to these and many other questions,” Ms. Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the IRS still needs to answer for the costs and damages that resulted from the three-year delay, and to explain why they were  looking at information the IRS’s internal auditor says wasn’t necessary for them to make a decision.

“We are pleased and relieved that the IRS and the DOJ are finally doing what should have been done three years ago, which is to recognize TTV as a charitable and educational organization, which we have always been and will continue to be,” True The Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said in a statement to Breitbart News.

The group first filed for tax-exempt status in July 2010. With the belated approval from the IRS, the Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss the charges.

“Since Plaintiff filed this action, the Service has determined, with the concurrence of the United States Department of Justice, to grant Plaintiff’s application for tax-exempt status and is in the process of issuing a favorable determination letter,” DOJ wrote in its motion.

Mitchell, however, still wants to know; when True the Vote will receive its tax-exempt status letter; what the government will do about the damages incurred while the group waited for over three years; what will happen to the confidential information the IRS demanded; and what about the violation of True the Vote’s employees’ rights.

The organization intends to file a counter motion to continue fighting the counts dealing with civil rights and privacy issues, Breitbart News reported.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Cathy Burke.

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