President Obama is personally involved in the IRS scandal
We know, from the testimony of IRS analysts Ms. Hofacre and Mr. Hull, the TEA Party applications were ordered sent to the IRS Office of Chief Counsel where they were shelved without action. We also know the IRS Chief Counsel is William Wilkins appointed by President Obama—clearly a strictly political appointment. But you almost certainly do not know why Bill Wilkins was the right man. Here is the inside story from the Washington Post:
Wilkins left the Senate Finance Committee staff in 1988 to join the Washington, D.C., office of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now known as WilmerHale). During a 21-year career at the firm, Wilkins helped nonprofit and corporate clients navigate the murky world of tax law.
In August 2008 Wilkins’ peers in the American Bar Association recognized his expertise by naming him chair of their Section of Taxation, the largest association of tax attorneys in the country. He held the prestigious position until being confirmed as IRS counsel by the Senate in July 2009.
Role in Obama IRS Case
In February 2008 the IRS launched an investigation into a speech made by then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) at Chicago’s United Church of Christ. The IRS said the probe would determine whether the event was a violation of the rule that bars church participation in political campaigns.
The investigation was a serious matter for the church, as punishment for such an IRS violation can range from a hefty fine to a devastating revocation of tax-exemption status.
Obama’s speech, which he delivered months before announcing his presidential candidacy, focused on his personal journey in the Christian faith. United Church of Christ officials steadfastly defended their actions and said they took pains to make sure the event wasn’t political.
After the IRS investigation was made public, the Washington, D.C., office of WilmerHale announced it would defend the United Church of Christ on a pro-bono basis. Wilkins and a colleague at the law firm were placed in charge of the high-profile case.
On May 13, 2008, the IRS closed the investigation into the speech with a formal letter declaring no laws were broken. The unusually quick resolution of the case was probably due, in part, to the skilled representation provided by Wilkins and others at WilmerHale.
There you have it. Wilkins is a man that can get quick resolution of an IRS matter. On the other hand, his office is as good as you could ask for in blocking potential political opposition such as the Tea Parties. But remember, President Obama declared before the world that he learned of the IRS scandal, along with the rest of us, from the news. His innocent hands were clean.
Remember now the Tea Party applications were in pigeon holes in the Bill Wilkins’ IRS Office of Chief Counsel by spring 2012. I learned yesterday President Obama met with IRS chief counsel Wilkins on April 23, 2012; Wilkins’ boss, then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, visited the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on April 24, 2012, according to White House visitor logs; and April 25, 2012, Wilkins’ office sent the exempt organizations determinations unit “additional comments on the draft guidance” for approving or denying tea party tax-exempt applications, according to the IRS inspector general’s report.
Obama is off campaigning today in Illinois and Missouri.