True the Vote's Engelbrecht: IRS Scandal Not Over Yet

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 08:47 PM

By Greg Richter and Kathleen Walter

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The IRS' targeting of conservative groups isn't over yet, Catherine Engelbrecht, founder and president of True the Vote, tells NewsmaxTV.

"We still don’t have our tax exemptions," Englebrecht said of her organization which promotes election integrity. "It's been three years. We've answered over almost 300 questions, we have submitted thousands of documents, and what I am seeing is groups that are continuing to come to the frontline talk about their experiences."

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The Obama administration tends to find someone to throw under the bus whenever trouble arises, she said, in this case the IRS employees in Cincinnati.

"I can tell you that, as far as our application went, we had, on two separate occasions, talked to analysts who told us that their marching orders were coming from Washington," Engelbrecht tells Newsmax. "This goes much higher up the ladder than we really had an opportunity to fully explore."

Story continues below the video.

True the Vote filed a lawsuit last week against the IRS and its employees who participated in the harassment of True the Vote. Engelbrecht says more employees are likely to be added to the suit.

The group seeks a declaratory judgment and for employee actions to be looked into.

Additionally, True the Vote is seeking almost $85,000 in damages, but that doesn't count the lost opportunity for funds because they have not been able to apply for grants or work with foundations.

But the group isn't pursing those costs, Engelbrecht said. "We want to just stay focused on damages that are hard cost because our focus, really, is to take the opportunity now for discovery. Because we did have damages and because we have standing, we will now be able to ask the very tough questions that a lot of people want answers to."

Other groups have sued as well, and Engelbrecht says it is important for them to come forward. "This is a very, very important time in the life our country when we need to fully understand exactly what the IRS did and exactly who was behind it."

She said it's impossible to tell whether the targeting of conservative groups impacted the outcome of the presidential election. Still, she said, there's no question there was a concerted effort to silence those that the Obama administration would consider political enemies.

"What I can tell you is that for many years now, many organizations have had their first amendment rights trampled on and that needs to be addressed," Engelbrecht said.

True the Vote was told by IRS workers that their orders were coming from higher-ups, she said, adding that she doesn't believe claims that the president didn't know about it. "They are taking plausible deniability to an art form," she said.

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