Alaska Governor Sarah Palin‘s brother, Chuck Heath Jr., claimed on Facebook that the IRS audited their father, Chuck Heath, Sr., six times after Palin rose to national prominence as a vice presidential candidate.
This information emerged several days before it was reported that the FBI doesn’t plan to bring criminal charges against any IRS employees who unconstitutionally profiled Tea Party and other groups in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election. The FBI supposedly didn’t find any criminally-based political bias or “enemy hunting” in what it is calling a mismanaged IRS bureaucracy.
This happened despite the fact that IRS official Lois Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment rights against testifying about the scandal before a Congressional committee.
Many Tea Party and other affected groups, as well as GOP lawmakers, are calling this a “sham” FBI investigation. It’s also been reported that the DoJ official overseeing the investigation, Barbara Bosserman, is an Obama campaign contributor, which isn’t necessarily too surprising given the politicized nature of the current Justice Department.
In his Facebook posting, Chuck Heath, Jr., wrote the following:
Coincidence? You decide. My father, who worked multiple jobs and faithfully and honestly paid his taxes for fifty years, had never heard a word from the IRS. In 2008, his daughter was tapped to run for vice president of the United States. Since that time, he has been, in his words ‘horribly harassed’ six times by the agency. They’ve tried to dig up something on him but he’s always operated above board. Government and politics are ugly. Kudos to the few that are trying to clean it up.”
As far as the federal investigation is concerned, the FBI reportedly didn’t even interview Tea Party groups about the IRS harassment they experienced until the 11th hour, and that apparently was the exception, not the rule. As Attorney Cleta Mitchell writes,
“… Having represented dozens of groups before the IRS over the years, including many victimized by the IRS in this scandal, one might have thought the FBI might have called me or even one of my clients. But, to paraphrase the song, if our telephone ain’t ringin,’ I guess it must be the FBI ‘investigating’ the IRS. Had the FBI bothered to contact or interview me, any of my clients, or anyone who actually could tell the FBI what the IRS did, we could have provided some specific facts about the IRS scandal … This is a new low for the FBI, which appears to have been completely silenced by this administration, starting with the president’s appointment of the very political Eric Holder, who in turn appointed Barbara Bosserman.”
Many have argued that the heightened IRS scrutiny of these groups when they applied for non-profit status amounted to voter suppression in the 2012 election.
Putting aside your ideological leanings, if any, if ordinary, law-abiding Americans who may wish to express their freedom of speech aren’t convinced that the Internal Revenue Service operates in an impartial manner, what assurances do the people have that the NSA won’t spy on political opponents of whichever administration happens to be in power?
[image credit: Joshua Doubek]