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."
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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.
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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.
Obama=W.Bush=Clinton=Bush Sr.=the next puppet. You party loyalists are so ignorant. as long as your party is in power you don't care what crimes they commit. this country is over and you all deserve your new slavery.
Kathy and bc – just keep ignoring the evidence, maybe the scandal will go away. How do you two manage to function with your heads in the sand? I can only imagine the howls of protest from the left if this happened to liberal groups under a Republican president.
@bcrunner As a staunch conservative, I couldn't care less if the Republican party falls by the wayside, as most Republican politicians are Democrat lites. Our politicians of all persuasions are corrupt and are sticking it to the taxpayers of this country, as they themselves enjoy exemptions from such things as ObamaCare. They have created the division in this country between the races, between conservatives and liberals, and every other group imaginable. In public and on television, the Rep and Dem politicians appear to be against each other on every issue, but behind closed doors they pat each other on the back. We the people, need to create a division of us against the politicians. We have allowed them to take advantage of us for far too long.
I guess the fact that the IRS admitted their guilt means little to all of you crying "conspiracy?"
To my fellow commentors, it just depends on whose axe is being gored. If this were GB going after liberal groups you would be demanding immediate impeachment. It trust nothing or no one in this regime. They lie to well and have the Clinton disease. I know nothing an what difference does it make.
All citizens, from republicans AND democrats have an interest in a fair and impartial IRS. For democrats to blog that there is nothing here but a witch hunt is shallow, self serving and transparent. Our system of taxation greatly relies on self-disclosure. If taxpayers sense there is something wrong we should try to fix it as soon as possible.
This pattern of abuse by the IRS is not the brainchild of a group of agents. These directions come from the very top! The computers of agents will show little except things we already know from those targeted. Oh to find someone in this administration who loves their country more than they worship this administration.
Anyone trying to make excuses for what is going does not love America.
Too many laws have been broken for even the most ignorant low information voter to expect this to blow over for Obongo. The next part of the investigation will focus on the individuals profiled by the IRS because of their conservative ties. Start at the bottom and begin locking these IRS criminals in prison. Pretty soon, there will be more deep throats than the Chicago thugs can intimidate into silence. They are, after all, still busy threatening the Benghazi survivors.
If the IRS management chain is gathering data on how the low level IRS has illegally targeted conservatives, you can be sure that they are not looking at the management chain that orchestrated this corruption. Files are being purged everywhere......
Gee – Kathy from Glendale was quick to point out her dislike for GOP. I wonder how government agencies became so full of GOP haters? I wonder why Kathy's boss had to take the 5th if things were so above board at the IRS.
You look at some of these post and it is very depressing. How can fellow Americans still defend this administration like zombies? It really doesn't matter what comes out of all these investigations because nothing would every wake theses people up! Not good for America.
The IRS confessed to targeting Tea Party groups, how is that a witch hunt? If they did nothing wrong then why did they stage the question at ABA so Louis Lerner could apologize? Why did the IG find wrongdoing? Why did the internal IRS investigation find wrongdoing? And still we have people who have "every confidence that ANY investigation will find absolutely NOTHING WRONG on the part of any of the IRS employees." I can understand why people say politician are awful but not my Congressman. I can understand why people get tense when a President they voted for comes under the microscope. But pretending everyone is innocent when they already confessed is ridiculous.
Kathy from Glendale...you CANNOT be serious! I was in the Marines for many years...now would I insist that it is INCONCEIVABLE that nefarious activities might be going on SOMEWHERE in the Corps? f COURSE NOT. Only someone shilling for the IRS would make such an incredible statement in the face of the admissions already out there by the IRS itself. You blew your credibility with that global preposterous statement!
We already know the IRS acted illegally. That is not even a question at this point. The Inspector General has already determined that.
The only question now is very simple: who is responsible for violating the civil rights of American citizens? It strains credulity to believe that over 10 separate agents each reporting to different managers conducted investigations that mirrored each other in scope, detail and time period. That level of coincidence is just not possible.
So the IRS misses a deadline well what happens to you if YOU miss an IRS deadline? The IRS is filled with liberals and minority employees who hate republicans and anyone who stands for IRS now and put in place a flat tax and put 90 % of the IRS employees out looking for work
Bush a crook and Obama isn't? You are funny. Obama's from Chicago and you say he's not a crook?
You three make me laugh. It is all made up. Nothing ever happened. 3 years of complaints by Conservative and religious groups was vapor. All leftist groups get approval another fantasy. How can you even have a conversation with people like you. Face it. It is real. The IRS was used as a political weapon by Leftist Demorats. This is not going to go away you should be worried as well. When the political tide changes and you are on the receiving end, what fun it will be to hear you squeal like the stuck pigs you are.
The most partisan perpetual campaign of any administration. Worst case, he orchestrated it , which he doesn't seem capable of given the volume of vacation, parties, golf outings and basketball tournaments. Most likely his staff, and as his been his style he blames everyone else and projects himself as an innocent bystander who will clean up his own administration. His media elite party friends are more than happy to frame him as the victim and champion of the "the most transparent Presidency in history"....
Sounds like the IRS is being left free to "investigate" itself. All one need do to establish motive in this case is read the comment above by the self-described former IRS employee to see where the prejudice lies, both figuratively and literally.
Listen to the progs defend their king. We the people will keep it up and take down every one of those that are guilty of targeting american citizens in the name of thugery. Lets hire some lawyers and keep our college records a secret. Lets blame everyone but ourselves if we are wrong. It is not just the IRS it is a peverted grab for total power.
the perpetrators of Obama/holder spy scandal seem to be escaping punishment and that is Obama and holder-America's own crime lords
so folks, asking what someone prays for is a normal question to ask??? stop drinking the koolaid
Hey, give the IRS some time. It takes time to destroy evidence, especially the backup files.
There needs to be a special prosecutor assigned to get to the bottom of this. The IRS employees who did this need to be prosecuted.