IRS employees were ordered by their superiors--including Lois Lerner who pleaded the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination rather than testify in Congress--to send certain Tea Party tax-exemption applications to the office of the IRS's Chief Counsel, which was headed by William Wilkins, who at that time was the only Obama political appointee at the IRS, according to a letter released today by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
“As a part of this ongoing investigation, the Committees have learned that the IRS Chief Counsel’s office in Washington, D.C. has been closely involved in some of the applications,” reads a letter released today by the House committees on Oversight and Government and Ways and Means. “Its involvement and demands for information about political activity during the 2010 election cycle appear to have caused systematic delays in the processing of Tea Party applications.”
It further states, “[B]ased on his decades of experience, [career IRS official Carter Hull] determined he had enough facts to make recommendations whether to approve or deny the applications. … However, Mr. Hull’s recommendations were not carried out. Instead, according to Michael Seto, the head of Mr. Hull’s unit in Washington, Lois Lerner instructed that the Tea Party applications go through a multi-layer review that included her senior advisor and the Chief Counsel’s office.”