Karl Rove: I Was Targeted by IRS While Running Debt Ceiling Ads

Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 09:16 PM

By Greg Richter

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Republican operative Karl Rove says his conservative 501(c)(4) group Crossroads GPS was targeted by the IRS just as it was running ads critical of President Barack Obama's policies.

During congressional questioning of former IRS official Lois Lerner on Wednesday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa read from an email in which Lerner requested a copy of Crossroads' tax-exempt application.

Appearing on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" on Thursday, Rove said the email was sent in June 2011, approximately the same time that Crossroads was running TV advertising opposing Obama's call for a clean debt ceiling.

The ads told viewers that if they didn't think Obama should have a blank check on the debt ceiling they should call senators and representatives to tell them to tie spending cuts to the legislation.

Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to testify when asked about the email.

Rove said the timing might have been coincidental, but he doubted it.

"It's either Lois Lerner or the general counsel of the IRS or somebody at the White House saying or somebody at the Treasury saying, the IRS better get on Crossroads GPS; these people are killing us with these ads opposing President Obama's policies," Rove said.

Lerner retired from her job last year after it was revealed that her agency targeted conservative groups for added scrutiny who were filing for tax-exempt status. Many of the groups were tea party-affiliated, and members say their efforts during the 2012 presidential election were hindered by having to wait for a ruling on their status. Some groups say they still have not gotten a ruling.

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