May 17th, 2013
10:50 AM ET
2 years ago

IRS official denies intentional political targeting, lying to Congress

Washington (CNN) - A huge increase in workload, rather than deliberate targeting, led to "foolish mistakes" and the political discrimination in the Internal Revenue Service cited by an inspector general's report, the agency's outgoing commissioner said Friday.

The testimony by Steven Miller, who was forced to announce his resignation this week as acting IRS commissioner, came at the first congressional hearing on the matter that has put President Barack Obama's administration on the defensive.

CLICK HERE FOR COMMITTEE'S PRESENTATION

FULL STORY

Filed under: Dave Camp • IRS
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    This is how a dictator can gain control over the media.........threaten them with the IRS. Now we see how that has been accomplished, in a free country.

    The media in America have been taken over by this administration, and one had to ask, why that was happening. Now we see how that can happen, other than the fact that the media are controlled by CEO's that are Democratic Party influential people.

    The combination of control from the top, and control by threats, have allowed this administration to accomplish what no other, has ever accomplished.........Obama has seized control of the media.

    Only now, are the truths coming to light.

    May 17, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    If the tea party did no wrong then why all the fuss? Now the tea party saying we need more oversight[Goverment} . I just dont get it.make up your mind do you want more oversight or less? And dont even try to tell me that Obama, knew nothing of this. who can we trust?

    May 17, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. Joan

    Gotta love this. Levin just asked who was in charge when all of these events were taking place. Then he asked who appointed the person who was in charge then. Guess who? George Bush. Actually it seems that although there was some extra targeting of Tea Party groups, there may have been good reason. Political groups are NOT supposed to be exempt so it was prudent for the IRS to scrutinize these NEW groups carefully. Since its inception, the Tea Party and all of its groups have been very vocal against the government, Democrats and Liberal policies. Doesn't it seem logical that they are mainly political, not charitable, organizations? Also, some good may come of this. There will now be more media scrutiny of the Tea Party groups, their motives and are they really charitable groups. Also, there should be more scrutiny of the Citizen's United decision and how all of these new groups are classified. The Supreme Court opened up a can or worms all around with that decision.

    May 17, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. THE TRUTH

    Right on joan, did not take long to see the negatives of citizens united, i love thhe way the gop adds insult to injury when naming these initiatives, right to work anyone?

    May 17, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. THE TRUTH

    Citizens united, sounds like a well intentioned law right, another slap in the face from the gop, getting old real quick... "corporations are people my freind", sounds like someone is benifitting from this

    May 17, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. THE TRUTH

    And guest agan conveniently leaves out the fact that the oversight of this issue belonged to a gop, yes, appoijted by none other than the worlds biggest patriot, george w bush, who also brought you war, recession, 911, invasion of your rights aka patriot act, another one of those clever names they use.

    May 17, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. THE TRUTH

    Why is it so hard tonsee the gop is trying to destroy our country, from every angle concievable, education, Tax reform, civil rights, big business is in full control of gop, they even said, if the politicians dont vote their way, they will be primarried, or replaced if you will, pretty plain to see for me

    May 17, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Honestly? (Witch Hunters United)

    I have no idea why they wouldn't be scrutinized. You can't run around under the Tea Party name and expect the IRS to not look further into your tax exempt status. I just don't get it. The Tea Party has involved themselves heavily in politics and yelled from every rooftop that taxes are the work of the devil. In other words, they would rather not contribute if at all possible.

    May 17, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  9. just sayin

    let's see conservative donors getting audited left and right by the irs, conservative organizations having their donor lists disclosed by the irs, conservative groups being targeted and having their applications pending for 2-3 years without approval, conservative groups being singled out based on their names which were obviously conservatve. and the irs clown gets up there and says none of this was political, it was all just a mistake.

    and all this was going on while they told congress it wasn't and then when they knew it was going on, failed to report it to the oversight committee.

    yeah, sure nothing at all political about this! i guess he thinks the american people are fools.

    so if these clowns want us to believe this wasn't politcally motivated, then release the number of left leaning groups that have been waiting for 2-3 years for approval. release the number of left leaning organizations that have had their donor lists disclosed. release the number of left leaning donors that have been audited by the irs. let the numbers tell the story. these known liars are not to be trusted.

    May 17, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. Sniffit

    "There will now be more media scrutiny of the Tea Party groups, their motives and are they really charitable groups. "

    No there won't. There has been and there never will be. The Teatrolls are the MSM's best friends. They provide a constant supply of conspiracy theories, accusations and controversy that is so utterly easy to sensationalize and perpetuate with uncritical reporting that the MSM would be biting the hand that feeds them if it ever looked behind the curtain. So it won't happen. Oz lives.

    May 17, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. just askin

    so levin states in his opening statement that the hearings should be about politics or gaining political advantage and then what are some of the first questions he asks? about who was in charge and who appointed them? as if he couldn't have been a democrat and all of the irs people breaking the law were democrats.

    ok, time to take off the gloves and go to work on these criminals. don't let them get away with this willful misuse of the irs to target political opponents.

    May 17, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. carrotroot

    The Tea Party and Patriot groups are political organizations and should not get tax-exempt status, to say they are charitable organizations is asinine.

    May 17, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Bob Powers

    When will the "Conservatives" realize that the President cannot make laws? When will they also realize that when things go wrong it is not always the President's fault? When will they realize that this whole budget deficit thing and bail-outs originated from the Bush administration? When will they realize that trying to repeal Obamacare 37 times is a fruitless effort and instead of fixing what is wrong they try to get rid of something they once supported before this administration? When will they realize that their obstructionist legislation is make a laughing stock out of the US? Finally, when will they realize that their childish actions only divides the nations and weakens it?

    May 17, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. Tony

    The next cover-up in Washington will be Republicans' effort to cover up the fact that they have fallen into another Benghazi trap, searching in vain for nonexistent evidence of the White House' involvement in scandals that weren't there. O.K., the scandals were there, but there is no evidence that the White House was involved. Of course, Republicans will argue that the White House is too good at cover-up, and that is why they can't find any evidence of a White House cover-up. Republicans will continue the cover-up investigation, so that nobody will notice that Obama had them chasing the white whale the whole time, without even trying.

    May 17, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  15. ghostriter

    RIck, thank goodness Fox is immune to he liberal hypnosis that apparently has the rest of the media in a trance. Except I didn't hear of any media being threatened by the IRS. And was it threatening when republicans called for it in 2004?

    May 17, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. just sayin

    IRS official denies intentional political targeting, lying to Congress
    ---

    1. when you target groups based on known political terms and names, you are in fact intentionally targeting them for political reasons.

    2. when you testify to congress that you are not targeting groups based on political criteria and then it is later found out you were doing just that and did not report back to congress to correct the record, yes, you have lied to congress once you knew your statement to be untrue and failed to correct it.

    May 17, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. ghostriter

    Just sayin', it's no one's fault but conservatives. See, if they had simply came into the investigation not trying to score points, we might have actually done something positive. Not a shred of proof, but they came in leveling accusations from the start. Not to mention that this is the 5th issue raised by republicans with the prior 4 ending with not a single piece of proof of wrongdoing.

    But that's what this comes down to. Proof. What you believe is irrelevant at this point. For all we know, they did it in order to be caught to try and trap the president. We don't know and it sounds like he's testifying that it was not done at the behest of the president. So this will wind up being a big whoop of a show.

    May 17, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    My problem is that these "social welfare" groups don't do anything other than protest and spend secret money on commericials to advance their own political goals. If they had done this of all 501(c)4 groups, it wouldn't be a problem.

    May 17, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. much thunder..little rain

    it is and always will be....money controls washington no matter the party...

    May 17, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. sonny chapman

    Law of Physics: The less $ that funds Govt. Bureaucracy, the more crappy the product.

    May 17, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    -just sayin

    let's see conservative donors getting audited left and right by the irs, conservative organizations having their donor lists disclosed by the irs, conservative groups being targeted and having their applications pending for 2-3 years without approval, conservative groups being singled out based on their names which were obviously conservatve. and the irs clown gets up there and says none of this was political, it was all just a mistake.

    and all this was going on while they told congress it wasn't and then when they knew it was going on, failed to report it to the oversight committee.

    yeah, sure nothing at all political about this! i guess he thinks the american people are fools.

    so if these clowns want us to believe this wasn't politcally motivated, then release the number of left leaning groups that have been waiting for 2-3 years for approval. release the number of left leaning organizations that have had their donor lists disclosed. release the number of left leaning donors that have been audited by the irs. let the numbers tell the story. these known liars are not to be trusted.
    ************************
    Given the fact that the number of applications for this particular tax-exempt status skyrocketed following the rise of the Tea party movement, it would seem to follow that the new applicants were overwhelmingly conservative. It follow that there might have been a backlog, or would you prefer these applications be rushed, and people donate their money to scam artists? Given the number of non-profit scandals in recent years, I would have thought you would want your groups to be viewed as above-board. Apparently, the idea of the IRS making sure that groups are what they say they are is anathema to the righties, who feel that their word is sufficent, but an oath in blood is required for anyone from the opposite side of the aisle. I guess you never donated to anything until 2009, right?

    May 17, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  22. Milhouse

    Somebody instructed these field agents to target conservative groups. The sooner the real truth comes out, the better it will be for Obama. Remember, it wasn't the Watergate burglary that sunk Nixon, it was the cover up.

    May 17, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. Thomas

    @carrotroot
    The Tea Party and Patriot groups are political organizations and should not get tax-exempt status, to say they are charitable organizations is asinine.

    ======
    It has become an industry , non profit for profit .
    Former House majority leader Dick Armey says he took an $8 million consulting deal in return for leaving the conservative organization FreedomWorks because the group was "dishonest" and because he "couldn't leave with empty pockets."

    The arrangement, he says, will allow him to "never have to work again forever."

    Tax all political non profit action comities , regardless of there political stance. It's become legal money laundering.

    May 17, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. Milhouse

    These abuses by the IRS may the nail in the coffin for Obamacare.

    May 17, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    I'm confused. Is the TeaParty now stating it is NOT a political party after all? I really think the MSM ought be able to clarify this once and for all. It isn't as if CNN hasn't itself made millions off of TeaParty POLITICAL ads endorsing TP candidates, POLITICAL positions, POLITICAL talking points, and non stop TeaParty POLITICAL ... well, innuendo.

    Rand Paul, Michelle Bachman, Marco Rubio, Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, Christine McDonnell, Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Kelly Ayotte, John Boehner ... come to mind.

    May 17, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
1 2 3 4