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AP: Federal oversight group says claim that senior IRS officials were unaware of extra tea party scrutiny isn’t entirely accurate; Updated

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By Doug Powers  •  May 11, 2013 05:15 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Yesterday Michelle wrote about the IRS admitting to giving extra scrutiny to conservative groups (specifically ones that were self-described as “tea party” or “patriot” organizations) seeking tax exempt status in 2011 and 2012. Lois Lerner, head of the IRS division that oversees tax exempt groups, apologized and said the practice was initiated by “lower level workers” in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias (pause for laughter). Lerner also told the AP that at the time no high level IRS officials knew this was going on.

Somebody might want to ask her that question again:

A federal watchdog’s upcoming report says senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups in 2011.
[…]
The Associated Press obtained part of the draft report.

That report says the head of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups learned that groups were being targeted in June 2011. It does not say whether Shulman was notified.

Bonus points: According to this story in The Hill, not only is Lerner’s claim that no higher-ups at the IRS knew about the extra scrutiny being given to conservative groups incorrect, but that at least one of those senior officials who knew about the practice was… Lerner:

The report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is slated to be released next week — the AP obtained a draft copy of the report.

According to that draft, the head of the IRS division that overseas tax-exempt groups became aware that conservative groups were being targeted for scrutiny in June, 2011. The report does not say whether Douglas Shulman, IRS commissioner at the time, was aware of it.

Also:

In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.

According to Jay Carney, if anything, this might be Bush’s fault.

Double bonus points: IRS official Lerner: “I’m not good at math.”

It’s all starting to make sense now.

Update: Jewish groups too?

The New York Times must have declared the story dead, because they’ve buried it.

Update II:

The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight has thrown down an investigative gauntlet to the Internal Revenue Service, demanding that the agency hand over by next Wednesday every communication in its records that includes the words “tea party,” “patriot” or “conservative.”

The committee is also demanding of the IRS that by next Wednesday it provide the committee with the names and titles of all individuals who were involved in targeting conservative non-profit groups for more intensive review of their applications for non-profit status.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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