House Democrats Maintain No Political Bias In IRS Handling of Exempt Applications
By Diane Freda
In advance of a July 18 hearing to further explore the Internal Revenue Service’s handling of applications for tax exemption, ranking House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said the evidence so far has shown the agency’s employees were not motivated by politics.
His comments followed a July 16 memo from the committee’s Democratic staff containing new information from all 15 interviews of IRS employees conducted by the committee over the last two months. The interviews indicate that IRS employees categorized applications by the name “tea party” and other monikers because they were lacking guidance on how to process them, Democratic staff said.
Two IRS employees, Elizabeth Hofacre and Carter Hull, who were interviewed by the committee behind closed doors, will testify for the first time. In addition, Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George, as well as other senior TIGTA officials, will be on hand for questioning (136 DTR G-8, 7/16/13).
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) called the hearing to focus on the relationship between IRS officials in Cincinnati and those in Washington and the development and execution of the process by which tea party group applications were delayed and scrutinized. IRS has admitted the groups’ applications were inappropriately screened and apologized for it, in a situation that led to the resignation of the former acting commissioner and congressional and criminal probes.
Text of the Democratic staff memo is in TaxCore.