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Thursday, December 8, 2016

At the beginning of the IRS “scandal,” House Republicans, including Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), have been promising to connect the so-called “targeting” of Tea Party groups all the way up to the White House. To make this case for him, the conservative media conjured a scenario wherein the Internal Revenue Service commissioner visited the White House 157 times to plot the nefarious act of asking political “social welfare” groups to prove they’re not political, which was just ridiculous.

Eventually, Republicans lowered the bar to just promising to prove that the targeting was “political.” That fell apart when it became clear that Tea Party groups comprised only about one third of the groups that had received extra scrutiny. Republicans also cannot find one IRS employee who would say the probing of these groups — conservative and liberal — was at all political.

Using “be on the lookout” lists and focusing on groups based on their names was foolish and needed to be stopped. But Issa and Republicans over-promised from the beginning and have made “IRS persecution” a cornerstone of organizing and fundraising. Now, as this video from Democrats on the House Oversight Committee shows, they have nothing to show for it, which is why White House Press Secretary Jay Carney recently called the IRS “scandal,” along with Benghazi, “phony.”

The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent wonders what Issa’s endgame is here, knowing he can’t just admit he was trying to conjure up a scandal. Watch for the GOP to focus on demanding more and more documents from the IRS and eventually issuing some sort of censure over a lack of disclosure when no politically motivated wrongdoing is revealed, much as they did with the also-ginned-up Fast and Furious “scandal.”

What do you expect Republicans to do as they try to revive this failing witch hunt?

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