WASHINGTON — It was the nearly silent bombshell of the IRS scandal, but it may have been one of the most significant.
That is especially true considering the target is primarily known as one of the fiercest critics of President Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton, the latter considered the Democrat’s leading presidential contender in 2016.
When the IRS stripped the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty, or PHC, of its tax-exempt status, it did not cause splashy headlines and a chorus of the nation’s leading conservatives did not howl in protest.
However, the IRS’ revocation of the center’s 501(c)(3) status may have been the most audacious power play yet by the left in its use of the department to wage war on conservatives.
The action indicates the IRS still feels free to pursue conservatives with impunity, even after all the adverse publicity it has received since former tax-exempt division chief Lois Lerner revealed last May that the department had improperly targeted conservative groups applying for 501(c)(3) status.
Additionally, the PHC is unique among the IRS’ recent known victims:
- The tea-party groups came to the IRS; the IRS went after the PHC. Unlike the delay tactics it used on tea-party groups when processing their tax-exempt applications, the IRS actively targeted the PHC as a group that already had 501(c)(3) status.