TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The IRS Scandal, Day 1346:  The Trump Dossier, The Left, And Tea Party Targeting

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Wall Street Journal: Dumpster Diving for Dossiers, by Kimberley A. Strassel:

Washington and the press corps are feuding over the Trump “dossier,” screaming about what counts as “fake news.” The pity is that this has turned into a story about media ethics. The far better subject is the origin of the dossier itself.

“Fake news” doesn’t come from nowhere. It’s created by people with an agenda. This dossier—which alleges that Donald Trump has deep backing from Russia—is a turbocharged example of the smear strategy that the left has been ramping up for a decade. Team Trump needs to put the scandal in that context so that it can get to governing and better defuse the next such attack.

The more that progressives have failed to win political arguments, the more they have turned to underhanded tactics to shut down their political opponents. (For a complete account of these abuses, see my book, “The Intimidation Game.”) Liberals co-opted the IRS to crack down on Tea Party groups. They used state prosecutors to launch phony investigations. They coordinated liberal shock troops to threaten corporations. And they—important for today’s hysteria—routinely employed outside dirt diggers to engage in character assassination.

This editorial page ran a series in 2012 about one such attack, on Frank VanderSloot. In 2011 the Idaho businessman gave $1 million to a super PAC supporting Mitt Romney. The following spring, the Obama re-election campaign publicly smeared Mr. VanderSloot (and seven other Romney donors) as “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records.”

This national shaming, by the president no less, painted a giant target on Mr. VanderSloot’s back. The liberal media slandered him daily on TV and in print. The federal bureaucracy went after him: He was ultimately audited by the IRS and the Labor Department.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/01/the-irs-scandal-day-1346the-trump-dossier-the-left-and-tea-party-targeting.html

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Comments

Thank you for putting time into this valuable listing of government and leftist bullying. It is happening in other western countries too.

Posted by: xyzlatin | Jan 14, 2017 4:08:54 PM

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to keep everyone updated on what is happining with our government, especially the IRS. Please keep up the great work.

Posted by: Maggie Whitton | Jan 15, 2017 7:09:36 AM