WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service caused an uproar last year when they targeted Tea Party groups. Now it seems they're doing it again.
Quietly over Thanksgiving, the IRS announced new rules that critics say would allow the agency to continue its tough targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups.
The rules appear aimed at silencing conservative organizations before the next crucial elections.
Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, explained why he believes the decision to target conservative groups came from the highest levels of the IRS on The 700 Club, Feb. 12 .
Lawyer Cleta Mitchell represented some of these groups when the IRS held up their tax-exempt status for years.
"And subjected all these groups to extreme scrutiny, burdensome questions. One of my clients received 102 questions from the IRS," Mitchell said.
Mitchell said what the IRS was doing quietly from 2009 to 2013 it's now doing openly to the kind of 501(c)(4) groups like most of the Tea Parties.
"Now the IRS in plain sight is trying to make permanent all the awful things they were doing to Tea Party groups and now extend that to every 501(c)(4) organization in America and to make it permanent," Mitchell said. "It's really quite dreadful."
"And it is indeed targeted. They know who they're trying to shut up," she added.
Mitchell said she believes the IRS is going to do everything it can to silence Americans who want to talk about how elected officials voted on Obamacare.
"I actually believe that that is the fundamental reason for all of this effort," she said.
Mitchell has filed a Freedom of Information request to find out if the White House, U.S. Treasury, and IRS have been colluding in efforts to muzzle Tea Party and other conservative groups.
The Treasury has stalled for weeks past the legal deadline in getting documents to Mitchell.
Are the new rules aimed to silencing people who have spoken out against Obamacare? Jordan Sekulow, with the American Center for Law and Justice, talks about this and below: