IRS finally agrees to act on last case for tea party
The IRS has finally agreed to a process for deciding on the last remaining nonprofit application that was snared in the Obama administration’s tea party targeting, more than four years after the illegal singling-out of conservative groups for special scrutiny was first revealed.
In court filings last week, the IRS acceded to rules governing how the tax agency will decide whether to grant nonprofit status to the Texas Patriots Tea Party, which has been awaiting a decision for years.
The agreement doesn’t mean the group will be approved, but it sets up a process for making a decision.
“This does provide a path forward for TPTP,” said Edward Greim, a lawyer representing the group, as well as hundreds of other tea party organizations that have The IRS also vowed not to consider the ideology of the group’s members.
The IRS also said it will process the TPTP’s application as of 2013, meaning it cannot deny the group’s application because of the continuing fight over information.
The agreement was reached on the sidelines of the class-action lawsuit.
Judge Michael R. Barrett renewed his ban last week on release of testimony of Lois G. Lerner and Holly Paz, two former IRS employees who were at the center of the targeting controversy.
Each has been deposed in the lawsuit but complained that the release of their testimony would spark another round of threats to their safety.
Judge Barrett said that only attorneys and a small group of plaintiffs who are sworn to secrecy will have access to the transcripts.
A full trial is slated for February.