First on CNN: IRS collects docs from 88 employees in investigation
May 31st, 2013
04:58 PM ET
7 years ago

First on CNN: IRS collects docs from 88 employees in investigation

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.

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.

Filed under: Congress • Darrell Issa • IRS
soundoff (469 Responses)
  1. austinkeith

    To Kathy from Glendale, After watching the few IRS higher ups appear in front of the Congress and look like totally inept bureaucrats, I'm now cofident this department of the Treasury is rife with imbeciles and your opinion that this is just a Republican witch-hunt tells me you were (are) just another example of the morons that still work there.

    June 1, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. NV

    Kathy there is something clearly wrong when it is admitted it has done something wrong, your blind
    bcrunner are you for real? how sad

    June 1, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. Pancake3

    Seems I read where the IRS has 90,000 employees. 88 is not a big percentage of 90,000. Big whoop.

    June 1, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. Peter F. Hobson

    Kathy, you are confused. The IRS has ALREADY ADMITTED TO DOING THE WRONG. It is just a matter now of finding how bad they have broken the laws.

    June 1, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Mike, Augusta, GA

    @Kathy in Glendale: You do realize that the IRS has already admitted to doing this right? That is why the interim Director "resigned." Even though that was a farce too since he was leaving two weeks later anyway. Plus what's-her-face that refused to testify to Congress was suspended over this by the IRS. So I think there is already an acknowledgement that there was SOMETHING WRONG at the IRS. You clearly hate the conservative party so much that you will overlook a government agency doing things they shouldn't do and that, makes you worse than them.

    June 1, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. Johnny

    I worked with the IRS for 20 plus years. There are a lot of unscrupulous employees. I have seen employees sharing private data on returns, intentionally going after people they do not like, and lots of Congressional requests to go after certain people or groups. The employees who do not follow the orders, do not get the promotions. It is all about if I help you out you will help me out. The culture at the IRS is disgusting. The bad part is the IRS is good at covering their tracks. A lot of these employees do not leave paper trails. Their computer systems do not have adequate audit logs to know who is doing something illegal. I brought several information security breaches to the attention of management. The last one was for manager of under the deputy commission of operations support. Four weeks later, I got fired.

    June 1, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. Erik

    Whenever you have to run around saying "he is not a crook", you can be sure he is....

    June 1, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. Chris

    "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.

    This statement epitomizes the lack or rational thinking in both parties. The American taxpayer knows he has a year to meet deadlines...every year the same deadline. Congress imposed random deadlines with little more than weeks to meet them. When was the last time the government got anything done in a matter of weeks? Never. So, basically, you have part of the problem trying to solve part of the problem.

    June 1, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. Guest

    Discount anyone that refers to 'IRS Codes and Regs', as Kathy does. There is one Tax Code, and it is the law so it's passed by Congress. It is called the Internal Revenue Code, or more formally the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The IRS does not create it so the IRS is not part of the name.. Anyone that refers to the Code as the IRS Code is uninformed and certainly not a long time employee of the Service.

    June 1, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Just a thought

    Yep the IRS will be under constant attack from the GOP/Tea Tards for the next 4 years, as long as president Obama is in office. This federal agency didn't become a problem until he became president ...Right(?) IDIOTS one and all

    June 1, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. Pancake3

    Bcrunner, not a crook? Remember when Obama gave $2 Billion to Petrobras? Then, a few months later made a quick trip to Brazil for "jobs?" Well, the president of Petrobras at that time and today is one Mr. George Soros. You think AF-1 came back with just Obama and Moochele on board? Where there's smoke..........

    June 1, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. John

    Right Kathy. Every person in th IRS is 100% legit. Oh did you miss the part about the bipartisan effort as well?

    June 1, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. Just a thought

    I'm shocked, shocked I tell you this is just now become a problem under President Obama...sarcasm. You'd think some halfway decent reporter would do some background, but Oh Well...its easy to just let Daryll Issa give you the news and leave it at that ..right ?

    June 1, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. steamyelf

    The totality of the abuse of power between the Justice Department and IRS far exceed Watergate. Heads should roll without further taxpayer $$$$ related to cushy pensions for the beheaded.

    June 1, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. WillyNilly

    The Republicans are generally the wealthy and the wannabe wealthy in this country. They hate giving up any money to run the government. Today their particular target is the IRS. They expect the IRS to go after the working people, not the wealthy. Once the power of the IRS is minimized they can have a clearer path to preserving their wealth and exploiting the middle class. The Republican House is weak on financial patriotism. I think that the IRS should fully investigate and retroactively review all applications for 501(c) 3 and 4 received over the past 10 years. I think they should determine exactly who really meets the qualifications. We need to retrieve all the tax dollars due and not pander to those who want to affect our election process though fraud. Let the IRS do their job.

    June 1, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |

    I love that your example of pristine innocence is the Clinton Whitehouse, what a paragon of upstanding governance.

    June 1, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  17. Joe

    In any organization of any size (chruch, school, company, government agency, charity, etc.) there are always some people that don't follow the rules, break laws, etc. Saying that no one in the IRS ever did anything wrong brands you as either naive, stupid or just covering up.

    June 1, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. Duh

    As long is it hurts the Obama admin, I'm happy!:) I hope thousands of careers are destroyed at the IRS over this!!! Love seeing govt people hurting!!:))

    June 1, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. Chris

    The tyranny that is the I.R.S. is just a sub culture of abuse against average Americans by the Government. Funny how they all want us to live by rules they,themselves want no part of....Open your eyes people.....

    June 1, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. Mark S

    Yes, but who is the ringleader, the organizer? Did I say "organizer". Uh oh, that points to you know who.

    June 1, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Vicky

    The civil service absolutely positively HAS to be neutral in political matters or our nation is DONE! I think the rank and file IRS employees are only too aware of that fact and I hope the political types don't use this opportunity to rid themselves of any whistle-blowers they might find. It must be remembered that politicians as a whole loathe the civil service because it was designed specifically to limit their power and influence and to ensure a peaceful transfer of power.

    June 1, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  22. Dustin

    @Kathy, are you numb? You are confident they will find no wrongdoing? They have already admitted it!! Witch hunt for holding our govt accountable? Please explain it to me

    June 1, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  23. Ceswho

    To Kathy and bcrunner- This scandal started when the IRS chief had a question planted at an economic summit to
    Ease into the public domain that the IRS has targeted conservative groups. They then apologized for "targeting" the Tea Party, etc groups. (Targeting was their own word). Since then this scandal has gotten bigger and bigger the more it is investigated. How can it be a witch hunt when this administration's own appointees brought it out? If this profiling is allowed to continue, then no-one is safe from the IRS,including you clueless liberals.

    June 1, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. Peruna

    Kathy from Glendale, AZ:

    Thank you for proving the point that you and other IRS workers are loyal Democrats who HATE any person or group that doesn't agree with you. And surely, that gross intolerance would never translate itself into targeting conservative groups.

    June 1, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. KeepMoving NothingtoSee

    Yeah, just a witch hunt . . . after all, the rules don't apply to democrats employed by the federal government. Anyone who thinks that the IRS did anything wrong must be a wrascally wrepublican crazy person. Yeah, if we could just make this go away . . . that'd be great.

    June 1, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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