HOWLEY: Ten IRS Scandal Excuses That Are Now Completely Discredited

With Lois Lerner facing a contempt of Congress vote Wednesday, and coming up on the one-year anniversary of the IRS conservative-targeting scandal (this Saturday all cocktails consumed in America will be a tax write-off, The Daily Caller has decided), it’s time to take a look at the pro-IRS case. What have we found? There isn’t one. Every defense put forth by the Obama administration and its allies in the Democratic Party and the media has now been disproved and discredited.

No, we’re not talking about Jay Carney’s “phony scandal” line or Obama’s “not even a smidgen of corruption” talking points. Those are just sound bytes. We’re talking about the actual ways the IRS and its friends tried to stop, stifle, or confuse investigations into the scandal.

So with Lerner expected to be held in contempt and GOP leaders calling for a special counsel, here are the 10 major defenses put forth by IRS defenders, and 10 reasons why the administration has literally nothing left to throw at the wall:

1. Progressives were targeted, too

For months, Democrats and the media relied on the talking point that progressive groups also ended up on an IRS “Be on the Lookout” list while the agency was auditing and seizing information from conservative groups. But as TheDC reported, IRS agents testified before the House oversight committee that the IRS scrutinized ACORN groups because it thought they were old groups applying as new ones; the group Emerge America was scrutinized for potential “improper private benefit;” and no evidence exists to prove that the IRS targeted any Occupy Wall Street group.

“Only seven applications in the IRS backlog contained the word ‘progressive,’ all of which were then approved by the IRS… [T]here is simply no evidence that any liberal or progressive group received enhanced scrutiny because its application reflected the organization’s political views,” according to an oversight committee staff report.

2. Everything Elijah Cummings said

Democratic oversight committee Ranking Member Rep. Elijah Cummings served as his party’s point man on the IRS case, trying to block or discredit Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa’s investigation at every turn. After Cummings threw a fit — accusing Issa of being “un-American” at a March 5 hearing as Issa cut off his microphone — House Democrats took to the floor to stage their “Lift Your iPads” demonstration, playing back footage of Issa cutting Cummings’ microphone in order to shame the Republican chairman. But the triumph of the Democrats’ high-tech Apple commercial of a protest was short lived.

It turned out that in the fall of 2012, Cummings demanded information himself from the voter-ID group True the Vote, and emails showed that Lois Lerner fed True the Vote tax information to Cummings, who might now face an ethics probe.

3. No White House involvement

“Not necessarily the White House” was the phrase that some Democratic “strategist” used when attacking one of our Daily Caller stories on cable television last year. He meant that while the IRS may have been corrupt to its very Washington core, President Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett have not yet been photographed sifting through tea party applications at a desk in the Lincoln Bedroom.

But we do know, however, courtesy of The Daily Caller’s reporting, that Lerner exchanged confidential taxpayer information on conservative groups with White House officials including White House health-policy adviser Ellen Montz and Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy Jeanne Lambrew, who just happened to be the most powerful official on Obamacare implementation within the White House.