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Congressional Interviews of IRS Employees Finds Washington to Blame for IRS Scandal
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Was the IRS scandal that unfairly targeted conservative groups seeking tax exemption status really the machinations of a couple rogue agents? Rep. Darrel Issa has led interviews investigating the claims, and met responses that this is not the case. The chairman of the House Committee of Oversight and Government Reform made an announcement Sunday morning:

“As late as last week,” he said, “The [Obama] administration was still trying to say the [IRS targeting scandal] was from a few rogue agents in Cincinnati, when in fact the indication is that they were directly being ordered from Washington.”

  
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The new claims are that the orders to intensely vet such groups as had “tea party” or “patriot” in their name was a Washington incentive. Who is ultimately responsible has not been disclosed, but the intimations suggest a systematic effort.

“Did [your supervisor] give you any indication of the need for the search [for tea party groups] any more context,” an IRS witness was asked in a private interview.

“He told me that Washington, D.C., wanted some cases.” Of the 40 applications for tax-exempt status from conservative groups, the witness said, as reported by MailOnline, “some went to Washington, D.C., … I sent seven.”

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The suggestion is that this practice was not bound entirely by the Cincinnati unit of the IRS, but had ties higher up. Issa is overseeing hearings and interviews with 88 different employees from the Cincinnati office.

A witness said another employee “wanted to have two cases that she couldn’t – Washington, D.C. wanted them, but she couldn’t find the paper. So she requested me, though an email, to find these cases for her and to send them to Washington, D.C.”



“[The] allegation has been made, I think as you have seen in lots of press reports, that there were two rogue agents in Cincinnati that are sort of responsible for all of the issues that we have been talking about today,” said the investigator. “What do you think about those allegations?”

“It’s impossible,” responded the witness. “As an agent we are controlled by many, many people.  We have to submit many, many reports.  So the chance of two agents being rogue and doing things like that could never happen.”

Asked whether the scandal “was originated in and contained in the Cincinnati office,” the witness replied “I still hear people saying we were low level employees, so we were lower than dirt, according to people in D.C. So, take it for what it is. They were basically throwing us underneath the bus.”

“[W]e didn’t do anything wrong,” the employee continued. “We followed directions based on other people telling us what to do.”

The employee was then asked if those people were located in Washington, D.C.?

“I believe so,” was the answer.



 

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