OK – this is a bit weird: Pres Obama’s appointee at the IRS who is in the spotlight over targeted tea party applications also represented Rev Jeremiah Wright

I lifted the quote below from today’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal and it warrants further scrutiny. Who is this lawyer? As the President’s appointee at the IRS what was his involvement in the targeting of conservative groups (if any?) It may be totally innocent or just a coincidence but it deserves scrutiny (remember, transparency?)

By the way, lawyers often do pro bono (free) work for POOR people or POOR organizations. I don’t know the finances of Rev Wright’s church but the Church does not appear impoverished to me and if a lawyer or law firm is looking to do pro bono work, I do know there are plenty of really impoverished people and organizations that could use free legal help from a big fancy Washington, DC law firm.

This is not to say lawyers don’t do pro bono work when there is some fascinating or novel legal issue that is an intellectual challenge and thus fun, but I don’t see the Rev Wright legal issue in that category. Instead it looks rather mundane. So…I don’t buy what Wilkins says below but I could be dead wrong.

Bottom line – transparency is needed here. If there is nothing peculiar about Wilkins and the targeting, then it is only fair to him that it be made public. Yes, we need transparency…and sooner, not later.

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“..,As a partner at Washington D.C. law firm WilmerHale in 2008, Mr. Wilkins helped lead the defense of Chicago Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s United Church of Christ when the IRS investigated then Senator Barack Obama’s involvement with the church for any violations of its 501(c)(3) status. “We were so interested in the case we offered to do it pro bono,” Mr. Wilkins told The American Lawyer at the time…”

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