By Monica Showalter
How's this for sneaky? Sen. John McCain, not too long after seeking conservative and Republican votes in his failed 2008 bid for the presidency, went right after those same conservative voters without telling them, by egging on the IRS to ruin them.
It's the sort of political back-stabbing that defies belief, taking an active role in destroying the Tea Party, which was an authentic grassroots movement of local groups calling for smaller government. Sure enough, Judicial Watch has found McCain's central role right there in the documents:
Judicial Watch today released newly obtained internal IRS documents, including material revealing that Sen. John McCain's former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, urged top IRS officials, including then-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner, to "audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous." Kerner was appointed by President Trump as Special Counsel for the United States Office of Special Counsel.
The explosive exchange was contained in notes taken by IRS employees at an April 30, 2013, meeting between Kerner, Lerner, and other high-ranking IRS officials. Just ten days following the meeting, former IRS director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner admitted that the IRS had a policy of improperly and deliberately delaying applications for tax-exempt status from conservative non-profit groups.
Lerner and other IRS officials met with select top staffers from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in a "marathon" meeting to discuss concerns raised by both Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that the IRS was not reining in political advocacy groups in response to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. Senator McCain had been the chief sponsor of the McCain-Feingold Act and called the Citizens United decision, which overturned portions of the Act, one of the "worst decisions I have ever seen."
In the full notes of an April 30 meeting, McCain's high-ranking staffer Kerner recommends harassing non-profit groups until they are unable to continue operating. Kerner tells Lerner, Steve Miller, then chief of staff to IRS commissioner, Nikole Flax, and other IRS officials, "Maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous." In response, Lerner responded that "it is her job to oversee it all[.]"
Up until now, I had always been under the impression that some conservatives' negative view of McCain was overblown, and he was far more good than bad. I was wrong.
The Obama administration's scheme to repress the Tea Party is a big reason why the Obama administration went downhill in the minds of many voters. Not only was Lerner not punished for clearly illegal targeting of political dissidents, surely one of the blackest marks on the Obama record, but she was also allowed to get away with it, from taking the Fifth in Congress to the whitewashed official report finding no wrongdoing to illegally deleting and "losing" emails (some that were found were profoundly hostile to conservatives) to being allowed to retire comfortably at her Beltway suburbs mansion with a six-figure pension. That was the price she paid for persecuting dissidents, in exactly the same way crummy, sleazy, slimy third-world dictatorships do.
She got away with it. But only because she had help – in, of all people, John McCain, that famous champion of dissidents in hellholes across the Third World. What a hypocrite.
Worse still, a lying hypocrite. Judicial Watch had been on to McCain for a long time, coming up with some earlier evidence that McCain served as an accomplice to Lerner to "get" the Tea Party groups, and McCain lied that none of it was true.
Here is his 2014 denial:
A recent press release by Judicial Watch sparked a series of online reports falsely claiming that my office was somehow involved in the IRS's targeting of conservative groups – reports that are demonstrably untrue and totally contradicted by my all of my actions over the past several years on this issue.
These reports ignore the fact that I released a 37-page dissenting report last September refuting the Democrats' Majority Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) report claiming the IRS showed no bias against conservative groups. Media coverage at the time noted that I was in total disagreement with Senate Democrats on the issue of whether the IRS targeted conservative groups (see The Associated Press article below headlined "Competing views on IRS treatment of tea party").
What's he going to do now, claim he never met his top aide, Henry Kerner? In the records, McCain's man Kerner said he wanted them ruined.
The whole repression of the Tea Party apparatus, by refusing to allow them to operate as tax-exempt organizations the way leftist groups do, has long been considered a Chicago-style political manipulation that swung the 2012 election away from Mitt Romney to President Obama, who, after muscling through the detested Obamacare, was expected to be punished by voters. Repressing the Tea Party was a big reason why President Trump got such a battery charge by 2016, because Trump was perceived as a fighter.
In other words, McCain was the guy who, through his sneaky manipulations and back-stabbings, ultimately got us Trump.
Guess we can thank this creep for that.
Me Here.....Why is it that whenever something stinks in DC, there is a Senator McCain creating the smell!
I the Senator still upset for losing to Barry Soetoro? If so he has only himself to blame. The White House was his. All John had to do was have a spine and show that Barry was Constitutionally disqualified from being President. But the thought of being called a racist and he disappeared from the field of battle.
So now he rebels by screwing the GOP at every turn.