Hearing: IRS’ ‘Application Process is Completely Broken,’ ‘Humpty Dumpty,’ ‘Cannot Be Put Back Together Again’

July 30, 2014 - 11:40 AM

In testimony today before the House Oversight Committee, attorney Cleta Mitchell testified that in her opinion, the IRS' application process for non-profits is "completely broken. It is humpty dumpty, it is off the wall, and it cannot be put back together again. What the IRS has done subsequent to the TIGTA report is to make matters worse."

Mitchell, who helped persuade members of Congress in 2012 that the IRS was targeting conservatives and is a partner at law firm Foley and Lardner, responded to a question from Congressman Danny Davis (D-Ill.)

Davis asserted that IRS employees used "different, inappropriate criteria" to target conservative groups even after Lois Lerner had prohibited them from doing so.

Davis: "I agree that no groups, conservative or progressive, should be singled out based on inappropriate criteria. In his report, the Inspector General made nine recommendations for reform at the [IRS] agency. Ms. Mitchell, let me ask you: in your opinion, how do you think the IRS is doing in implementing these recommended reforms?"

Mitchell: "Congressman, I have to tell you, in all honesty, I think the application process is completely broken. It is humpty dumpty, it is off the wall, and it cannot be put back together again. What the IRS has done subsequent to the TIGTA report is to make matters worse."

Mitchell testified that the IRS had issued regulations the day after Thanksgiving. "They've been working on regulations, off plan, not in public view, which they sprung on the American people over the Thanksgiving holiday, and gave us until February 28 to issue comments. There were over 160,000 comments."

The IRS regulations would have "codified the egregious principles" that "were in all the development letters sent" by the IRS to conservative groups, Mitchell testified.

In prepared testimony submitted to the Congressional committee, Mitchell had this to say:

I believe that the Internal Revenue Service is so corrupt and so rotten to the core that it cannot be salvaged. It has too much power, too much money, too many employees and it needs to be absolutely jerked out at the roots. I would urge the members of this Committee and all members of Congress to support Rep. Jim Bridenstine's bill, House Joint Resolution 104, which would repeal the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution. It would abolish the income tax and, byextension, it would abolish the IRS.