Ousted IRS Chief Steven Miller’s head may not be the only one to roll amidst the IRS scandal.
The investigation into the IRS’s targeting of the Tea Party and Tea Party-like groups has led investigators to information pointing to an August 2011 meeting in which the office of the chief counsel for the IRS was made aware of the issue. This then led to logical follow-up looking into who the chief counsel for the IRS is.
In 2009, President Obama picked William Wilkins as one of two political appointments to the Internal Revenue Service. Wilkins will now likely be the subject of investigation into a possible attempt to protect the president from this scandal by not informing the White House of the issue, which was known well before the 2013 release of the details. The White House cited Wilkins’ prior experience as an attorney working with tax-exempt organizations as the reason for his appointment.
As if Obama’s public relations nightmare could get any worse, Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle has stumbled upon a connection that the Obama-appointed chief counsel for the IRS was also the man who helped get controversial Rev. Wright's church out of a previous IRS non-profit status investigation.
Wilkins, who previously worked as an attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr (WilmerHale), defended Obama’s church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, during his tenure at the law firm, after the IRS began a probe investigating then-presidential candidate Obama speaking engagement at the church. The law firm took the case pro bono because of their own firm’s interest in the case. Tax exempt non-profits are legally prevented from participating in political speeches and advocating for specific candidates. The IRS began their investigation into Obama’s church, which is a non-profit, due to his address to the congregation. The church was able to free themselves, with the help of WilmerHale, from scrutiny based on the claim that their invitation was made to then-Senator Obama before he announced his presidential candidacy. The church also denied any endorsement of the campaign booths and volunteers present in the front of the church.
It will now be debated whether or not Wilkins himself knew about the probes or if attorneys working beneath him did not inform him of the circumstances. It has been stated that Wilkins was not present for the meeting in question.
Jay Carney’s press conference on May 15contained a response to some of these questions about Wilkins’ knowledge of the probe back in 2011. Carney claimed that the president was not informed by Wilkins but also that it is not known whether or not Wilkins was informed by his staff of attorneys after the 2011 meeting.
Some issues are in need of future investigation:
If Wilkins was aware of the IRS politically targeted probes, why did he not inform the White House? Did Wilkins choose not to inform the president for political reasons? Was the lack of information sharing intended to protect Obama?
Did Wilkin’s political appointment to his position motivate him to protect the White House by not informing them of the IRS’ actions?
If Wilkins did not know, why wasn’t he made aware by his staff?
If Wilkins is able to claim ignorance of the targeted probes and blame them upon lower level staffers, then why was Steve Miller unable to do so?
More information will surely be dug up by the right wing. The left’s strategy, amidst the number of the scandals, seems to be to protect the President politically at all costs.
How long can this administration hide behind the actions of lower level officials? If Rev. Wright was thrown under the bus in order to protect Obama, who else will be?