Democrats say ‘conservative’ IRS employee refutes charges of White House meddling
June 9th, 2013
10:35 AM ET
1 year ago

Democrats say ‘conservative’ IRS employee refutes charges of White House meddling

(CNN) – A “conservative Republican” manager of Cincinnati-based IRS screeners told congressional investigators there was no evidence the White House was involved in the agency’s targeting of conservative groups, according to the Democratic leader of a committee probing the scandal.

This refutes claims by some Republicans that the groups were targeted at the direction of political operatives working to get President Barack Obama re-elected, said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

“He is a conservative Republican working for the IRS. I think this interview and these statements go a long way to showing that the White House was not involved in this,” he said.

Further, Cummings said the interviews conducted by the House Oversight Committee were conclusive enough for the investigation to be considered complete.

“Based upon everything I’ve seen, the case is solved,” he said. “If it were me, I would wrap this case up and move on.”

Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told CNN’s “State of the Union” last Sunday that interviews with workers in the Cincinnati IRS office indicated the targeting of conservative groups was "a problem that was coordinated in all likelihood right out of Washington headquarters - and we're getting to proving it."

“My gut tells me that too many people knew this wrongdoing was going on before the election, and at least by some sort of convenient, benign neglect, allowed it to go on through the election,” Issa said. “I’m not making any allegations as to motive, that they set out to do it, but certainly people knew it was happening.”

But in the interview excerpts released by Cummings, the charge of political motivation is refuted by the Cincinnati manager, who described himself to investigators as a “conservative Republican.”

“I do not believe that the screening of these cases had anything to do other than consistency and identifying issues that needed to have further development,” the manager said, according to the document released by the Democratic staff of the Oversight Committee.

The excerpts indicate the manager was later asked whether he had “any reason to believe that anyone in the White House was involved in the decision to screen Tea Party cases.”

The manager replied “I have no reason to believe that.”

Like Issa, Cummings released only portions of the investigators’ interview with the manager, despite CNN’s request for the full transcript. On “State of the Union,” Cummings said he has repeatedly called for Issa to release the full interview transcripts, and if Issa chooses not to by the end of the week, he would release the full interviews himself.

In the excerpts Cummings did release, the manager tells interviewers that it was his decision to send one particular application in 2010 to the Washington tax-exempt office – not for political reasons, but rather so a precedent could be set for later cases where screeners suspected a group of conducting political activity.

“In his interview he said over and over again, ‘I want it to be consistent.’ So that's how all of this got started. Period,” Cummings said.

Responding later Sunday, Issa said Cummings' assertion the investigation was solved was "extreme and reckless."

"The testimony excerpts Ranking Member Cummings revealed today did not provide anything enlightening or contradict other witness accounts," Issa said. "The only thing Ranking Member Cummings left clear in his comments today is that if it were up to him the investigation would be closed. Fortunately, the decision to close the investigation is not his to make."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: IRS • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Donkey Party

    Fast & Furious – not a scandal after all.

    Benghazi – not a scandal after all.

    AP – not a scandal after all.

    NSA – not a scandal after all.

    IRS – not a scandal after all.

    What's next, right -wingers, wanna try the birther thing again?

    June 9, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Tom

    I don't believe anything the government tells us. Each piece of information that give us I am highly skeptical about. Considering the IRS admitted that they targeted conservative groups and apologized for it, I'm not sure what the point is of this story. They admitted they targeted conservative groups. They admitted it.

    June 9, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. yippeeskip

    What did you expect...?

    June 9, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. plain&simple

    GOP congressional members need to justify their jobs by doing something!!! They certainly aren't working towards anything that is conducive to helping the economy.

    June 9, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. wildbill

    Lies,lies,lies!

    June 9, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Mark

    Donkey Party: you are an idiot! Everything you listed are IN FACT scandals.

    June 9, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. edog

    Tom

    I don't believe anything the government tells us. Each piece of information that give us I am highly skeptical about. Considering the IRS admitted that they targeted conservative groups and apologized for it, I'm not sure what the point is of this story. They admitted they targeted conservative groups. They admitted it.
    ------------------------

    The point, Tom is that the GOP is saying Obama, from the White House, told the IRS to do this for political reasons. Now we find out that it was just a field office that decided to do this on their own... Nothing political about it when the field office manager is a Conservative. The point is that the GOP should stop all this crap and get back to creating jobs!!!

    June 9, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Ron

    Another weak article by the Corruption Coverup News site.

    June 9, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. texasnotea

    Once again, the gop is the liar and the Administration is telling the truth! Every time the gop has created a witch hunt, it turns out to be just that. A witch hunt based on false information and made up allegations. This is exactly why most Americans do not trust the gop. That is why Issa interviewed these people in secret away from the cameras so he and his cronies could fabricate lies.

    June 9, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Pete

    Hey Issa another political witch hunt blows up in your face again,ain't it time to call it quits car thief,arsonist!!How much will Issa ,republicans spend of tax payers monies when all these hearings,witch hunts in Fast,Furious,Benghazi,IRS,AP media and all get done showing zilch for results..Hey Issa , the one with egg on your face are you going to apoligize for all the hell you put Eric Holder,Hillary Clinton and Pres.Obama to name a few through or are you gonna try something else cause you believe you're right even though you've been proven more times wrong with your party than right and its getting rediculous because you're spending tax payers money and we want a committe and hearing to see where those millions,billions have gone!!So Issa save your reciepts because we're gonna want to see them and by the way IRS wants to speak to you too!!

    June 9, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. xnothinbutthetruth

    When the GOP doesn't win an election... this is what they do.

    – and that is yet another reason why they keep losing elections.

    June 9, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Donkey Party

    Mark – the idiot, is you, for being a gullible, mindless, right-wing loyalist.

    June 9, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. rs

    ...And another Republican-produced scandal goes down to the truth. The GOP has grown old and pathetic.

    June 9, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. rs

    Does Issa have any eye brows left? I'd think they would have been burned off by now!

    June 9, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Pat F

    Dems: It's not partisan! It took us two weeks but we found a republican IRS employee willing to get 15 minutes of fame by lying!!

    June 9, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. omit

    Keep scratching for an impeachment pipe dream GOP.

    June 9, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. rs

    I don't believe anything the government tells us. Each piece of information that give us I am highly skeptical about. Considering the IRS admitted that they targeted conservative groups and apologized for it, I'm not sure what the point is of this story. They admitted they targeted conservative groups. They admitted it.
    ----
    Dems: It's not partisan! It took us two weeks but we found a republican IRS employee willing to get 15 minutes of fame by lying!!
    ____________________________

    Paranoia, delusion and conspiracy theories. Does it not occur to you that the simple answer is the truth? Do you really think every single event that happens in government happens because the President makes a call? Really.

    I think you all need to be honest. Why in the world wouldn't the IRS look at overtly political groups called "Taxed Enough Already" seeking tax exempt "social welfare status- that is the joke of the century if you ask me!

    June 9, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. realoldguy

    I've always wondered if the people who do the most whining about their taxes are the same people who routinely cheat on their taxes. Maybe the people at the IRS have been asking the same question.

    June 9, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. jpmichigan

    Oh, well this takes care of the problem, NOT. Who benefited by the targeting? Who sent letters to the IRS to check on tea partyers? DEMOCRATS. Then all of a sudden a CONSERVATIVE states White House knew nothing of this, Well put this person under oath, on television, so I as a tax payer, can hear it and see the person saying it. I don't trust Democrats or Republicans for that matter.

    June 9, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. Ehud Avni

    How can someone who can't produce a physical birth certificate, then locks down & seals everything related to his past, while also refusing to answer any questions or produce proof, get elected to any office in this country? Why does the British National Archive have the only certifiable birth certificate for Obama? The White House produced BC was a digital forgery, not a hard copy. When all is said & done, history will remember this administration for scandals, poorly done cover-ups, questions about Obama's past, & incompetence.

    June 9, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Hammerdown

    Birth certificate – fail.
    Socialist, communist, Marxist – fail.
    Muslim, Kenyan – fail.
    Solyndra – fail.
    Fast & Furious – fail.
    IRS Gate – Fail.
    Bengazi – fail.

    Next.

    June 9, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. rbockman

    sure, I believe the obama white house as well as I believe in the tooth fairy

    June 9, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. Parfin Woodell

    Whats next ?
    Obama covered up Roswell ?

    June 9, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Humm,
    Maybe the fact that lots and lots of people applied for A Tax Exempt Status is the real story. I have no doubt there were "Gatekeepers" that held up the approvals much longer than was necessary. But no matter, there will be another election! And it may not go exactly as some of you wish.

    June 9, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. xnothinbutthetruth

    "Dems: It's not partisan! It took us two weeks but we found a republican IRS employee willing to get 15 minutes of fame by lying!!"

    Pat F...... he's the manager of the department.

    June 9, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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