IRS vows to finally begin processing applications of targeted tea party groups

The IRS is still holding up three tea party groups’ applications, Commissioner John Koskinen admitted in a letter to Congress last week — but he insisted he agents are finally about to begin processing them.

Mr. Koskinen is hoping to head off yet another judicial spanking for his agency, which has suffered a string of defeats in federal courts that ruled he is still improperly targeting conservative groups and mistreating them more than three years after the tax agency admitted to its bad behavior.

Not only are three groups still awaiting approval, but the IRS had left open the possibility of kick-starting the use of its targeting, or “be on lookout” (BOLO), lists that the agency used to figure out who it was subjecting to intrusive scrutiny.

Now, Mr. Koskinen is finally moving to shut the operation down for good.

“There should be no doubt that the use of BOLO lists has not just been temporarily suspended, it has been eliminated,” he said in letters to key committees on Capitol Hill.