First, nobody should have to go through what Catherine Engelbrecht went through. Here’s her story as told through Peggy Noonan’s powerful words:
But the most important IRS story came not from the hearings but from Mike Huckabee’s program on Fox News Channel. He interviewed and told the story of Catherine Engelbrecht—a nice woman, a citizen, an American. She and her husband live in Richmond, Texas. They have a small manufacturing business. In the past few years she became interested in public policy and founded two groups, King Street Patriots and True the Vote.
In July 2010 she sent applications to the IRS for tax-exempt status. What followed was not the harassment, intrusiveness and delay we’re now used to hearing of. The U.S. government came down on her with full force.
In December 2010 the FBI came to ask about a person who’d attended a King Street Patriots function. In January 2011 the FBI had more questions. The same month the IRS audited her business tax returns. In May 2011 the FBI called again for a general inquiry about King Street Patriots. In June 2011 Engelbrecht’s personal tax returns were audited and the FBI called again. In October 2011 a round of questions on True the Vote. In November 2011 another call from the FBI. The next month, more questions from the FBI. In February 2012 a third round of IRS questions on True the Vote. In February 2012 a first round of questions on King Street Patriots. The same month the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms did an unscheduled audit of her business. (It had a license to make firearms but didn’t make them.) In July 2012 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration did an unscheduled audit. In November 2012 more IRS questions on True the Vote. In March 2013, more questions. In April 2013 a second ATF audit.
All this because she requested tax-exempt status for a local conservative group and for one that registers voters and tries to get dead people off the rolls. Her attorney, Cleta Mitchell, who provided the timeline above, told me: “These people, they are just regular Americans. They try to get dead people off the voter rolls, you would think that they are serial killers.”
This can’t be explained away as anything except intentional intimidation. This flurry of audits isn’t coincidental. At this point, it’s impossible to determine who put Mrs. Engelbrecht in the crosshairs. That said, this wasn’t triggered by a couple of rogue agents in the IRS’s Cincinnati office.
In fact, this has corrupt, well-connected political operative written all over it. It isn’t a stretch to think someone like a David Axelrod might’ve unleashed the dogs on Mrs. Engelbrecht. There are other possibilities, too.
The point is that this cries out for a special investigation, someone with the authority to impanel a grand jury, issue subpoenas and prosecute corrupt, well-connected political operatives.
It’s imperative that the perpetrator or perpetrators get apprehended, convicted and thrown in prison for a long time for auditing and intimidating Mrs. Engelbrecht.