IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins a Big Donor and Loyal DemocratSubmitted by barracuda_trader on Fri, 07/19/2013 - 07:42
As witnesses have testified to the House Ways and Means Committee, the chief counsel for the Internal Revenue Service may have played a role in the IRS’s practice of reserving special scrutiny for Tea Party and other conservative political groups. William Wilkins, chief counsel and one of two political appointees at the IRS, was “closely involved in some of the applications” for tax-exempt status, according to a press release from the committee.
But who is William Wilkins? According to the 2009 announcement of his appointment to the IRS, Wilkins was a registered lobbyist with Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr since 1988. At WilmerHale (the firm's new name after 2003), he was a part of the Tax Practice Group, where he practiced a wide range of tax law services, including “counseling nonprofit organizations, business entities, and investment funds on tax compliance, business transactions, and government investigations.” Before his lobbying career, Wilkins was staff counsel for the Democratic side of the Senate Finance committee, from 1981 to 1988.
As Carol Platt Lebieu points out, there are some questions about how the White House was left in the dark about the IRS's probing of conservative groups when its own appointeee appears to have known about the investigations: