Remember how Democrats laughed at Republicans for saying that the White House may have been involved in the IRS targeting of conservatives? Yet again the joke is on them, as new evidence shows that the scandal goes higher up on the IRS ladder than we previously knew.
Just yesterday, House Oversight and Reform Committee ranking member Elijah Cummings released interview transcripts that he claimed prove the White House’s innocence. Republicans aren’t so sure.
Today, Oversight Republicans released a joint letter with the House Ways and Means Committee Republicans to IRS chief Danny Werfel, recounting testimony that may indicate an Obama appointee was involved in the targeting:
During recent interviews of IRS employees, including Carter Hull, a tax law specialist and self-described 501(c)(4) expert with 48 years of experience at the IRS, the Committees were informed that Tea Party applications under his review were, in an unusual turn of events, referred to the Chief Counsel’s office for further review at the direction of Lois Lerner, the head of the Exempt Organizations division. The IRS Chief Counsel is one of two politically appointed offices in the agency.
The letter also includes testimony from other employees indicating that the Chief Counsel’s office was involved.
The testimony doesn’t prove that Chief Counsel William Wilkins, an Obama appointee, was involved in the targeting, but it certainly broadens the spectrum of confirmed employees who were. It also brings us closer to the White House than any other information that has been released thus far.
The House Oversight and Reform Committee is holding a hearing with Hull, Elizabeth Hofacre – a Cincinnati employee who coordinated “emerging issues” for the IRS and has previously testified that Washington employees were involved – Inspector General J. Russell George, and two other Treasury Department employees tomorrow.
Expect a scene as committee chairman Darrell Issa and bulldog committee members Jim Jordan and Trey Gowdy employ a take no prisoners approach to get to the bottom of this scandal.