Updated 5:49 p.m. ET Friday 5/31
Washington (CNN) – The Internal Revenue Service has told House GOP investigators they have identified 88 IRS employees who may have documents relevant to the congressional investigation into targeting of conservative groups, according to a congressional source familiar with the investigation.
The IRS asked these employees to preserve all the "responsive documents" on their computers, and it has been in the process of collecting it all to comply with congressional requests for information. The IRS missed its May 21st deadline to turn over documents to the House Ways and Means Committee.
The same source said the IRS argues it missed its deadline because of the scope of documents it is collecting.
The request for documents was a bipartisan one, but Republicans are privately preparing to seize on the fact that if nearly 90 IRS employees may have been somehow involved in this targeting, it is evidence that the controversy extends well beyond the mistakes by a few low level employees.
However, with no documents in hand, there is no way to know how many of the employees being asked to preserve documents were truly involved in the activity in question. The IRS, in a statement to CNN, said the large number reflects its effort to ensure they are as responsive as possible to the Congressional requests.
"The IRS and Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel are moving aggressively and taking the data requests very seriously. As a precautionary measure, the IRS is casting a wide net to capture any potentially related materials. Our goal is to be exceedingly thorough during this process to ensure we identify any and all pertinent records," the IRS statement said. "The IRS has received numerous congressional requests involving an extensive set of questions and calls for data. Responding to these requests is a top priority for us. We have been in contact with committee staff, and we continue to provide them updates as we diligently work through these requests."
READ MORE: Did IRS chief really visit White House 157 times?
The IRS is responding to multiple Congressional requests for information and struggling to meet the deadlines. According to a Senate Finance Committee aide, the IRS told the committee it will also miss Friday's deadline to produce documents relevant to the tea party targeting.
In a joint statement from the press offices of Sens. Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch, the committee's Democratic chairman and its top Republican, said they were disappointed and that the agency needed to do better.
"This is an agency that revolves around making the American taxpayer meet hard deadlines each and every year when they file their taxes, oftentimes penalizing those that are late," the statement said.
READ MORE: House investigators questioning IRS Cincinnati workers
More problems are on the horizon for the IRS. Rep. Darrell Issa, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, will hold a hearing next week on an audit of the agency's "spending culture and conference abuses."
The committee will focus on the report released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) that shows excessive spending at IRS conferences.
Werfel said in a statement that the report will focus on an IRS conference that took place in 2010 and labeled it an "unfortunate vestige from a prior era."
"While there were legitimate reasons for holding the meeting, many of the expenses associated with it were inappropriate and should not have occurred," he said, adding new rules have been put in place and such a conference will not happen under his watch.
These guys that were "targeted" didn't even have to file an application. They could be audited ,later, to prove they are in compliance if they raised the obvous RED flags, like ARods charity did. You could say they either didn't want to be audited at a later time or they wanted to do it the "right way". Why would you apply if you didn't need to? Why put the IRS on the offensive by putting your name, goals, ideals and primary funds usage smack dab on the enemies desk, yet he never asked you too? Saturate the app. review process with blatant references that would cause closer inspection. This is a well planned strategy that took over 1 year to gel. Republicans asked to for an investigation in which they already knew what they would find, they just hoped it would get linked directly to Obama.
Absolutely terrifying to be putting this IRS in charge of America's health care system. Vote for their chosen presidential candidate or be refused medical care. Do not speak out against the system if you value your life.
Would anyone please tell me why the IRS should/would/IS buying over a billion rounds of ammo.
Is this ammo needed to enforce their charter of collecting income taxes or Obama-care fines from the citizens of the USA?
And so the setup witch hunt continues.. the Obstructionist Party is really getting their hands dirty on this one.
First, these applications were all made and allegedly targeted in early 2010 (prior to mid-term elections that gave the GOP control of the House) and ended in May 2012 – LONG before the Nov election. None of the applicants were denied the 501c4 status (that they didn't need to apply for anyway) except one Dem group.
As mentioned before, saturate the request process with 10x the normal application rate, most of which were right wing requests, cause the IRS to investigate then wait a YEAR after the investigation ends – May 2012 – to bring them to light.
We ALL know the intent was to use these groups fro money laundering, avoid Federal Election funding rules and NOT DISCLOSE DONORS. And as a side benefit, we can use the data against the Obama administration if we lose in Nov.
You'd think that after trashing our economy, starting 2 illegal wars (unfunded), bailing out the banks (unfunded), Medicare Part D (unfunded), Bush Tax Cuts (unfunded and advised against by most economist) and the loss of 4.2 Million jobs that the Republican Party might take an interest in repairing the travesty they committed. But no, they ONLY want to trash Obama. I guess the folks that ponied up the almost $1 TRILLION the GOP spend on the shellacking they got in the Nov 2012 election want something in return?
the irs is the most powerfull agency in the USA
Whooooa there Kathy, you seem to be missing the bigger point. That the IRS targeted conservative groups isn't a question anymore. They did, and they have admitted to it. The question now is whether or not the IRS needs t be curtailed in its power. Hopefully that will happen.
Just stop all "tax free status." Everyone should pay taxes. Close all loopholes. Everyone pays from the corporate citizen to the human citizen. The rich and the poor. Religious and non religious. The witch hunt on the IRS is just propaganda to not have any revenue collection. That would end all the perpetual wars we are in. End all tax free status.
The IRS missed its deadline... Yet how unforgiving and unrelenting are they when the taxpayer misses theirs?
@william Giunta -Would anyone please tell me why the IRS should/would/IS buying over a billion rounds of ammo.
Sure. Glad to help the sheeple become informed. They IRS can't/won't/IS NOT buying ammo. DO a little research.. it's DHS – Dept. Homeland Security that's doing the buying.
So let's get this straight - they "targeted" groups that should have been targeted for possibly not being eligible for tax free status in the first place.
None of them were refused... though one liberal group was.
and they weren't even required to apply in the first place.
Oh.. and before people chime in that something illegal must have occurred because people were fired.... they always fire people when some things like this make it into the media - it's symbolic and doesn't really show guilt or innocence. They also tend to apologize for the issue regardless of whether there was wrongdoing.
Silly libs only gonna get worse. More truth to come ..
This is a simple conspiracy. A GOP appointed Chief of the IRS and his GOP appointed staff screw up to make a Democratic president look bad while fulfilling a self-fulfilling prophesy preached by the GOP that the government can't be trusted. And the IRS targeted Liberal organizations under a GOP President, where is the outrage over that? The GOP is doing the same thing in Congress, obstructing everything so government looks incompetent. When are Americans going to wake up and realize the real danger is the GOP!. Vote the GOP out to save America!
When any CNN article damaging to obama is published, they always put it on politicalsticker to hold down the truth and comments.
I find it funny that the repubs want to crucify the IRS and Obama for all the misgivings and excess spending that they certainly never held Bush accountable to when his people were caught doing worse. Let's go on a memory stroll...
When testifying before Congress in 2007, L. Paul Bremer, the former head of reconstruction in Iraq, was unable to account for as much as $12 billion—about half of his budget—as the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority between May 2003 and June 2004. According to a report by Rep. Henry Waxman, contractors brought bags to meetings in order to collect shrink-wrapped bundles of money.
In 2004, Pentagon auditors found that Halliburton had not adequately accounted for $1.8 billion of the bill it sent to the United States government for its work in Iraq and Kuwait.
Also that year, Bunnatine Greenhouse, the Army Corps of Engineers' chief contracting officer, charged that KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary, unfairly received billions of dollars worth of no-bid contracts in Iraq. Greenhouse was demoted in 2005.
So if the right wants to get into a fuss over $50 mil being used in a debatable fashion, maybe just stop typing and go back to cleaning your guns.
When will the fake IRS scandal circus leave town?
Each department in the Government has spent freely including the Congress/Senate as the IRS is just the posting. Rep. Issa a convicted criminal turned Congressman knows a lot about crime but little about the law. This is a fake scandal used to finish out the year for Congress to do nothing. The plan the GOP set out to assure the 2012 got a Republican in as President failed. The gang were so stupid they never allowed Obama to replace the Bush Commissioner Douglas Schulman. Senator Bob Dole said the Tea Party is taking over and using the Republican name to do it. Senator Rafael Ted Cruz even announced the Tea Party would run on the Republican ticket to get their members elected and then replace the Republican Party. As the Congress and Senate do nothing the President is still working alone on economy/jobs as he did in his first term in office.
Last time a republican president did this...they impeached him...Nixon used the IRS against groups...just like BO BO has done here...anybody look at the number of trips to the white house when this was going on...
But of course...the bobomites will call stand around and protect their elected king...
This was wrong...this is wrong...I don't care how big or how small it was...the IRS can not target groups that are not in align with the current administration...anybody that tries to say it is ok or not a big deal...needs to shut up when they find their group or their charity under attack...keep in mind...gov't out of control will one day come for you too...
Issa would like to think he did. Issa is getting on Sunday news programs and saying some untruthful and no prove claims. Issa is just one of the many Terrorist now in Washington. He says outlandish statements that are not the truth. Republicans only mission is to get rid of Obama in any way they can. They have been gunning for him since 2008 when we elected him. Republicans have set up blocks on bills that need passed and continue the DO NOTHING mode. Boehner has tried to get rid of the Health Care bill 38 times now in the House, costing taxpayers 80 million bucks in waste. We must defeat the Republicans in 2014 and 2016. We cannot allow them to get control of this nation. If they do, we will be destroyed. Also we must defeat some Democrats, like H. Reid. He votes like a Republican and supports McConnell in many ways. Senile Reid is a huge supported of the NRA also. Thus no gun or laws will be passed with Reid a s the leader of the Senate. Senile Reid is a Traitor to Obama and the people of this nation. He must be defeated his next time up for election. The voters must be smart and defeat the Republicans.
Yea, you know somethings up when the lemmings write dissertations asserting their prophets innocence (some athiest eh?), making excuses for why it looks sketchy, and their standard mantra, its bushes fault. Please, Im not a fan of the rights social policy, but I remember the Bush years very well, and unlike most of these food stamp trolls, I can be intellectually honest and make fair comparisons. Should have had that bone thugs and harmony song "its the first month" performed at the second innoguration. That is why I still watch Bill Maher, cause atleast he doesnt fake the funk like these Jackals.