Sarah Palin has made it her job in life to spin events so they look like she or people who share her political ideology are always right. Today is no exception. Today Sarah reports that
“The IRS admits that its treatment of Plaintiffs during the tax-exempt determination process, including screening their applications based on their names or policy positions, subjecting those applications to heightened scrutiny and inordinate delays, and demanding some Plaintiffs’ information that TIGTA determined was unnecessary to the agency’s determination of their tax-exempt status, was wrong,” the IRS said in court documents. “For such treatment, the IRS expresses its sincere apology.” “Thank goodness for the Trump administration.”
To read Sarah’s note on Twitter it would seem the Trump administration finally righted a long standing wrong. The reality is quite different. The controversy surrounded the IRS targeting conservative groups who applied for tax-exempt status during the Obama administration. It was during the Obama administration, 2013, that Lois Lerner, the head of the tax exempt section, admitted to the wrong doing.
Two years ago, before Trump was elected, the Obama Justice Department announced that no one at the IRS would be prosecuted. Investigators found mismanagement but no evidence that the tax agency had targeted a political group based on its viewpoints or obstructed justice.
Republicans were disappointed again when the Trump Justice Department, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, said it would not reopen its case against Lois Lerner, who had led the IRS office that processes applications for tax exempt status. Sessions has now announced settlement with the IRS and Tea Party groups.
If a settlement is being paid it is our tax dollars that are being paid out to the attorneys for the tea party groups. In any class action of this sort, when a claim is settled, it is often the attorneys who benefit and most of the Plaintiffs receive little money. In the case at hand, Tea Party groups had their applications delayed, so any damages are quite speculative. It is likely that the majority of any settlement paid would go the the lawyers. Especially because the class of Plaintiffs included over 400 groups, any payment of a settlement amount would necessarily be split among the 400 Plaintiffs. The terms of the settlement remained sealed. The Justice Department made no reference to a payout in its announcement. They did apologize for the intensive scrutiny of the groups, part of a conservative, anti-establishment movement that is something of a forerunner to Donald Trump’s populist, America-first presidential campaign.
The settlements, which require a judge’s approval, would close a chapter in a political scandal that dogged the Obama administration and remains a source of outrage for Republicans.
Thus for Sarah Palin to suggest the Tea Party groups were “vindicated” is misleading. The IRS already admitted fault, and it is unclear whether they will receive any significant settlement amount. Obama would “hate” this news. It would be Old News to Obama, and he wouldn’t “hate” it, but likely he’d be glad the suit was over.