The IRS’ improper targeting of conservatives groups appears to have been coordinated from the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., according to a new batch of emails released Wednesday by a conservative watchdog group.
The new emails, which were first obtained by Judicial Watch, seemingly contradict the Obama administration’s earlier claim that the targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status was carried out exclusively by a few low-level employees in Cincinnati.
One email reveals that Holly Paz, the former director of the Office of Rulings and Agreements, was in direct contact with IRS lawyer Steven Grodnitzky.
In the email, Paz requested that Grodnitzky “let Cindy and Sharon know how we have been handling Tea Party applications in the last few months.”
The two people Paz referred to in the email are Cindy Thomas, former director of the IRS Exempt Organizations office in Cincinnati, and Sharon Camarillo, a senior manager in the IRS’ Los Angeles office.
Responding to Paz’s email, Grodnitzky, who worked in the IRS headquarters’ Exempt Organizations Technical Unit, the Washington Examiner reported, said they were “working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. We are developing a few applications here in D.C. and providing copies of our development letters with the agent to use as examples in the development of their cases.”
Further, in a 2010 memo, Thomas instructed a colleague to “let ‘Washington’ know about this potentially politically embarrassing case involving a ‘Tea Party’ organization.”
“Recent media attention to this type of organization indicates to me that this is a ‘high profile’ case. In addition to 501(c)(4) typical legislative activities, application indicates possible future political candidate support,” the memo added.
Judicial Watch received the exact same IRS emails as congressional investigators. However, the emails given to Congress include multiple redactions that are absent from the emails released by the conservative watchdog group.
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