The media is declaring that Darrell Issa is discredited on the IRS targeting scandal, but it looks like it's the Democrats that are desperately grasping for somethng that isn't there.
After House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Rep. Sander Levin accused the IRS of targeting progressives as well as conservatives, Inspector General J. Russell George hit back hard.
In a response to Levin's letter, George denied any failure on his part and explained that progressive groups were not targeted, no matter what Levin wants to believe.
"Our audit did not find evidence that the IRS used the ‘progressives’ identifier as selection criteria for potential political cases between May 2010 and May 2012," George said. On the other hand, "our audit found that 100 percent of the tax-exempt applications with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names were processed as potential political cases."
"While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of Tea Party and other related criteria we described in our report...we found no indication in any of these other materials that 'Progressives' was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention," he said.
IRS Chief Danny Werfel confirmed all this before the House Ways and Means Committee this morning.
According to George, of the 14 applications that had the terms "progress" or "progressive" in their names between May 2010 and May 2012, none received additional scrutiny for being potential political cases and only 30 percent were processed as potential political cases.
While the term "progressive" was on a BOLO list, it was part of a larger spreadsheet labeled "Historical" and "did not include instructions on how to refer cases that met the criteria."
Despite this response, Ways and Means Democrats held a press conference to announce their plan to ask Chairman Dave Camp to request that George to appear before the committee again, referring to his original report as "flawed."
This new information brings us back to where we were before: Conservative groups were targeted, while liberal groups were given a free pass. Democrats have been trying to claim progressives were targeted since the beginning of this scandal, and the evidence just isn't there.
As I explained before, there were too many unanswered questions to confirm that liberal groups were targeted. This information only proves that the Democrats are doing everything they can to muddy the waters and harm the investigation. They claim they want to know the truth, but they're doing everything they can to obscure it.