The Internal Revenue Service didn’t just scrutinize conservative and Tea Party-affiliated groups seeking tax-exempt status. New IRS documents show the agency used terms including “progressive” and “occupy” as a means of screening progressive groups seeking tax-exempt status.
The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein, who joined Morning Joe on Tuesday to discuss his story, notes the documents were released Monday by congressional Democrats.
But will this quell the anger among conservative groups who believed they were unfairly targeted? Do the documents show that progressive groups were targeted as regularly as conservative ones?
“I’ve been reading articles saying that [conservatives were targeted disproportionately] for two months now. Are all of those articles wrong?,” Scarborough asked Stein.
Stein responded in saying those articles merely had “half of the information” on the IRS’ scrutiny.
“What happened yesterday was that the IRS and Democrats in the House Ways and Means Committee released 15 of these lists, these ‘Be On the Lookout’ lists, those BOLO lists which show which groups the IRS screened as potential problems for applying for tax status. In these lists were progressives as well as occupy and groups that were advocating for medical marijuana,” Stein responded.
The IRS has already issued an apology to conservative political groups for targeting of conservative groups during the 2012 election. White House spokesman Carney called the scrutiny “inappropriate.”
Despite the news, Stein said it was still impossible to know if the IRS scrutinized more conservative groups than progressive groups until more information was released.