Understanding the IRS scandal, cont’d

Bernie Becker’s lead in the important Hill story on the IRS scandal is not fine-tuned: “Liberal groups seeking tax-exempt status faced less IRS scrutiny than Tea Party groups, according to the Treasury inspector general.” But Becker’s story adds an important clarification to the attempted obfuscation by Obama’s new IRS chief and congressional Democrats:

Russell George, Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, told Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) in a letter dated Wednesday that the IRS did not use inappropriate criteria to scrutinize groups with “progressives” in their name seeking tax-exempt status.

“Our audit did not find evidence that the IRS used the ‘progressives’ identifier as selection criteria for potential political cases between May 2010 and May 2012,” George wrote in the letter obtained by The Hill.

The inspector general also stressed that 100 percent of the groups with “Tea Party,” “patriots” and “9/12” in their name were flagged for extra attention.

“While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of Tea Party and other related criteria we described in our report, including employee interviews, e-mails and other documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention,” George wrote to Levin, the top Democrat on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

Read the whole thing here.

UPDATE: Stephen Dinan has more here; Paul Bedard has more here.

MORE: Jim Hoft has posted the IRS IG’s letter here.

Responses