First on CNN: House investigators questioning IRS Cincinnati workers
May 30th, 2013
02:46 PM ET
2 years ago

First on CNN: House investigators questioning IRS Cincinnati workers

Washington (CNN) – House investigators are interviewing two front-line Internal Revenue Service employees from the Cincinnati tax exempt office this week in Washington, and plan to interview two others next week, two congressional sources familiar with the investigation tell CNN.

House investigators are hoping these IRS employees will shed light on exactly why tea party and other conservative groups were inappropriately targeted for excess scrutiny when applying for tax exempt status.

The sources would not yet disclose the names of the employees, but CNN has previously reported that House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa requested transcribed interviews with four IRS employees from the Cincinnati tax exempt office: John Shafer, Gary Muthert, Elizabeth Hofacre and Joseph Herr.

Investigators from two committees – House Ways and Means and House Oversight – are teaming up to bring these IRS workers to Washington, D.C. for the interviews.

Last week, Issa revealed they had already interviewed a potentially key IRS worker in the Washington, D.C. office – Holly Paz. Paz is a director in the IRS tax exempt division.

During a hearing with IRS Inspector General J. Russell George, Issa said Paz told his aides she was allowed to sit in on meetings with her employees and inspector general investigators. Issa said that raises questions about the true independence and veracity of the inspector general's audit on tea party targeting.


Filed under: Congress • IRS
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    "why tea party and other conservative groups were inappropriately targeted"

    Stop editorializing in the piece, please. You forgot the adverb "alleged". Many of have no problem with political groups jumping through hoops to get out of paying taxes. Let's determine if the behavior was truly inappropriate FIRST, shall we?

    May 30, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Wake up People!

    More BS. But still no jobs bills......

    May 30, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. CB FL

    Out of 182 bills bought to the floor in the House only 1 was about jobs and that was for the military.

    May 30, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. just sayin

    seriously??? the inspecter general allowed a person's supervisor to be present during his questioning of him concerning wrong doing??? how bogus is that?! this is why the governemnt should never ever be allowed to investigate itself. the arb report was a sham and a coverup concerning benghazi. this inspector general audit doesn't look like it was done very well or properly. and then you have eric holder that wants to investigate himself? it appears the entire obama administration is comprised of a bunch of incompetent clowns.

    May 30, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    These government workers should be given a raise if and whenever they unfreeze the pay raises of federal employees which is into its third year. Why can't congress be furloughed?
    The tea trolls are NOT a grassroots organization of any kind. They were and are still being supported by the koch brothers and faux news. Old folks on social security and Medicare fighting against their own good. Can't take their heads out od their behinds for one second to realize how dumb they are.
    At least Acorn was not political and look what the repugs did to it. I don't remember any Democrat in congress crying over it when it happened either. These rethugs are a pathetic bunch of little cry babies"

    May 30, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    I couldn't be more ashamed of this administration.

    May 30, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    -just sayin

    seriously??? the inspecter general allowed a person's supervisor to be present during his questioning of him concerning wrong doing??? how bogus is that?! this is why the governemnt should never ever be allowed to investigate itself. the arb report was a sham and a coverup concerning benghazi. this inspector general audit doesn't look like it was done very well or properly. and then you have eric holder that wants to investigate himself? it appears the entire obama administration is comprised of a bunch of incompetent clowns.
    *********************
    Yes, they are following what is called a "process" to ensure that proper procedures are adhered to by those doing the investigating. This also ensures the legality of the investigation: you do want the investigation to be conducted properly, or do you think waterboarding is needed because you happen to dislike the current administration? Apparently the goal of the Right is to waste time and taxpayer dollars investigating this ( and anything else they can come up with) to divert attention from the fact they have nothing to offer in terms of new ideas and that they are incapable of governing or legislating. Just because the lazy, redneck base of the GOP needs hate to keep them watching FOX is no excuse to abandon their responsibilities ( remember " Jobs, jobs, jobs"?).

    May 30, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. ARTraveler

    When the Tea Party is through with all their fake tears and Issa's "witch hunts", maybe they will acknowledge that if they were 70 of 300 applications being held up to explain how they are a "social welfare" organization and figure out that 70 isn'ty the MAJORITY of 300 or even 1/4 and maybe the IRS is doing its job of trying to figure out how a political organization, formed by politically active rich guys, with money from other politically over-active rich guys, buying TV and print ads and mailers in various political races is somehow meets the definition of a "non-political charity".

    May 30, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. B

    The former head of the IRS visited the White House more times than any Cabinet member, according to an analysis by The Daily Caller, raising questions about the nature of those visits - particularly around the time the agency was targeting conservative groups.

    The Caller analysis of White House visitor logs showed former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House at least 157 times under the Obama administration......

    May 30, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    ""why tea party and other conservative groups were inappropriately targeted""

    Backwards. Liberal 501(c)(4) were allegedly inappropriately not targeted. There's an entire universe of difference in the two things and the only reason the entire (faulty) premise has been that it was inappropriate to target these groups at all is because it sounds worse, provides a clear path to victimhood claims and is far easier to sensationalize that way. ALL of them should have gotten this scrutiny and the end result of all of this mess should be that the tax code and IRS regulations are revised so that ALL of them get put thru the wringer in the future. Political activities do NOT deserve tax-exempt status. EVER. PERIOD.

    May 30, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Uh, what about the budget that they're supposed to be reconciling between the Senate and the House? I've heard that that the Tea Party Republicans have laid down a complete set of ideological pre-conditions before they will sit down at the table. You know, those guys that Sen. McCain bawled out on the Senate floor a week ago or so. Cruz, Rubio, and company.

    May 30, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    just sayin

    seriously??? the inspecter general allowed a person's supervisor to be present during his questioning of him concerning wrong doing??? how bogus is that?!
    -----------–
    Only a totalitarian mindset would call it "bogus", sir. Even the Constitution says that you have a right to having an attorney being present when you're being questioned. You really showed where your head is really at this time.

    May 30, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  13. OhBoy

    157 times the head of the IRS visited ....I call shenanigans!

    May 30, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. Gary

    Issa said that raises questions about the true independence and veracity of the inspector general's audit on tea party targeting.
    OK So another behind closed doors enterview. Gotta make sure we doctor up the emails before the public see's them.
    Issa is another graduate of the "Sean Hanity" school of photo shop.
    Time to give it up Darrell, no one believes you, except maybe your faux gang.

    May 30, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Anderson

    The tea party people really can't afford an investigation.
    All of them may end up in jail.

    May 30, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. just sayin

    The Real Tom Paine
    Yes, they are following what is called a "process" to ensure that proper procedures are adhered to by those doing the investigating.
    --

    so you are saying these higher ups were present to make sur ethe inspector general was doing his job correctly? seriously?? talk about ridiculous. you really have to work harder on trying to con people.

    the reason these people were there was to make sure their people said the "correct" things to the investigator and didn't incriminate the higher ups. if they knew what was good for them that is.

    May 30, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. B

    The Caller analysis of White House visitor logs showed former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House at least 157 times under the Obama administration..............................knowing this, you would have to have zero critical thinking skills or willful acceptance of the crime if you don't think Obama was brains behind this operation. By contrast, Shulman’s predecessor Mark Everson only visited the White House once during four years of service in the George W. Bush administration and compared the IRS’s remoteness from the president to “Siberia.”

    May 30, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Dave

    DOUGLAS SHULMAN, according to the Daily Caller analysis, former IRS commissioner, visited White House more times than any Cabinet member. Interestingly this was most prominent around the time the agency was targeting conservative groups

    May 30, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. just askin

    B
    The Caller analysis of White House visitor logs showed former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House at least 157 times under the Obama administration..............................knowing this, you would have to have zero critical thinking skills or willful acceptance of the crime if you don't think Obama was brains behind this operation.
    --

    hey, may the irs guy was giving obama private golf lessons? it's possible right?

    actually obama would have met with him more often but he didn't want to give the appearance of interfering with the irs. his golf game has suffered as a result of cutting back on these lessons. such presidential sacrifice...

    May 30, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. PaulCat

    Tea Party groups, you better put a stop to your GOP friends. They're going to sent you to Jail. You had no business receiving a 501(c)4. You see how quiet Carl Rove is.

    May 30, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. California Gary

    Its not a mystery as to why they were "inappropriately" targeted. They were targeted because of their "inappropriate" stance and public comments as they relate to taxes. Duh.........

    May 30, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. rad666

    Take the 5th.

    May 30, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Karl

    Liberals keep crying about how this is a witchhunt and how the Tea Party deserved it – what a bunch of hyprocrit crybabies – your crew in Washington got caught! Deal with it!

    May 30, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    -just sayin

    The Real Tom Paine
    Yes, they are following what is called a "process" to ensure that proper procedures are adhered to by those doing the investigating.
    -

    so you are saying these higher ups were present to make sur ethe inspector general was doing his job correctly? seriously?? talk about ridiculous. you really have to work harder on trying to con people.

    the reason these people were there was to make sure their people said the "correct" things to the investigator and didn't incriminate the higher ups. if they knew what was good for them that is.
    ***************
    No, that is your opinion and your assumption, which is, as usual, wrong. If you had an inkling of how the real world works, you would know this was not unusual, especially for politically motivated investigators whom you seem to feel have the purest of motives. If you believe that, you are an even bigger schill and fool than people already think you are, flyspeck.

    May 30, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. Gary

    It's a fact. Douglass Shulman and Obama bot have two eyes and one nose. That's it. That proves everything. Time to start impeachment hearings.

    May 30, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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