Casting A Wide Net

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) opened this morning’s hearing on the IRS scandal with a fusillade against the “rotten” U.S. tax system and the Obama administration’s “culture of cover-ups – and political intimidation.” He also warned darkly that “every civic group in America is at risk – the Knights of Columbus, the Rotary, the JC’s, the American Legion and VFW clubs.”

But Camp alleged that the scandal goes beyond just the targeting of conservative groups for additional scrutiny of whether they were impermissibly engaged in partisan political activity. He pinpointed a total of “five serious violations” by the IRS (from his prepared remarks):

First, back in August of 2010, a “White House official” discussed the tax status of a private company – a clear intimidation tactic.

Second, in June 2010, the targeting of conservative groups began.

Third, in May 2011, the IRS started to threaten donors to conservative leaning non-profits that they were liable for certain taxes.

Fourth, in March of 2012, the Huffington Post published the confidential 2008 donor list of the National Organization for Marriage, a conservative tax-exempt organization.

And fifth – but unlikely the final transgression – ProPublica announced that the IRS had leaked confidential applications for tax-exempt status from conservative groups.