Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice, said it was “very well possible” that the IRS’s targeting and harassment of conservatives and Tea Party groups impacted the 2012 presidential election between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Testifying before a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs hearing Thursday to discuss the IRS’s targeting of conservatives, Sekulow, whose organization is representing some Tea Party groups that were targeted, was asked by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) whether he felt that the targeting changed or impacted the 2012 election.
Sekulow said that there is evidence that the “groups being intimidated,” even those that did not realize it at the time, had a “significant impact on the election.” He said it is “very well possible” that the 2012 election was impacted by an “aggressive, continuous, and systemic intimidation factor by the IRS with applications still pending… for three years.”
When Tea Party groups and conservatives like Mark Levin raised concerns about some suspicious activity by the IRS at the time, the mainstream press and Democrats ridiculed them for being paranoid. That turned out not to be the case, as revelations came from within the IRS that the agency scrutinized the tax-exempt applications of Tea Partiers and conservatives more than it did progressives. In addition, the IRS reportedly targeted conservative donors as well.