(WND) -- As Attorney General Eric Holder orders an investigation of the International Revenue Service after a top official admitted targeting conservative groups with extra scrutiny, an outspoken critic of Obama who claimed more than half a year ago that the administration was using the IRS to punish him is feeling vindicated.
“I feel like a million bucks. I feel absolutely vindicated. I knew this was going on,” Wayne Allyn Root told WND.
Root, the Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate in 2008 who has claimed Obama was strangely unknown to him and his fellow Columbia University classmates, recounted his story to WND last October of becoming the target of unusual audits, beginning in January 2011, despite a “spotless” 30-year tax record.
He charged in October that the order to audit him came from Obama himself, and he is even more convinced now.
“I believe this is not rogue agents, who would be risking their pension and careers,” he said.
In October, Root said the order to audit him “must have come from the highest levels of government.”
“Obama is using the power of the IRS and other government agencies to punish his political opposition and intimidate and silence his critics,” Root charged at the time.
At that time he was calling for congressional hearings “to determine if the Obama administration is misusing its power to damage or ruin the lives, drain the finances, or just distract Obama’s critics and political opposition.”
Now, the House Ways and Means Committee has scheduled a formal hearing for Friday to probe the IRS scandal.
In March 2012 hearings before the Financial Services and the Ways and Means Oversight subcommittees, former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman twice denied that the IRS had targeted conservative groups.
On Monday, Root contacted the office of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., offering to testify before Congress.
Root said that until this week, he would not have expected scrutiny of the Obama administration to get much traction, but with the news Monday that the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of Associated Press journalists, he thinks the media “woke up overnight and realized this is a tyrant that we’ve got in charge.”
Root has been a relentless critic of Obama in thousands of appearances on political talk shows on TV and radio over the past four and a half years, focusing on what he calls the president’s anti-capitalist policies. He also writes columns and commentaries for many popular conservative websites.
A pre-law and political science major in the class of 1983, like the president, Root told WND that he received an “unsettling” telephone call from an IRS agent in January 2011 who called himself a fan of his and considered it “an honor” to audit him.
Root won a complete victory last summer in tax court, which found no taxes owed in his 2007 and 2008 filings. But then, he said, he and his tax attorney were shocked when he was hit with a new audit just five days later, for 2009 and 2010.
Root told WND in October he knew of many cases like his that pointed to a pattern of abuse by the Obama administration, including of high-profile friends who contribute to the Republican Party and GOP bundlers.
Last year, billionaire Frank VanderSloot became the target of investigations by both the IRS and the Labor Department after he gave $1 million to a super PAC that supported Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The GOP’s biggest donor, Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, said a federal criminal investigation into his company’s business practices was politically motivated. Another casino giant, Steve Wynn, also has been investigated.
This week, Root has received many emails from people who identify as conservative and believe the IRS has been harassing them for political reasons.
He said he was contacted by a Mormon man who said everyone he knew in his small Mormon community was being audited for the first time in their lives.
The man told Root the Mormons are easy to identify because their tax forms show they give 10 percent of their income to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Root said the Mormon man told him, “Everywhere I go, I run into people who are being audited, and they have never been audited before.”
Root sees the alleged targeting of Mormons as consistent with the report Tuesday that the IRS was targeting Jewish groups that are pro-Israel.
“Who in America would be more conservative Republican and donate more to Romney than Mormons?” he asked. Read more via WND...