IRS commissioner: Hey, turns out it was mainly just two “rogue” employees who targeted tea partiers

posted at 4:01 pm on May 15, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via Mediaite, it took a few days but at last we have some fall guys. It’s ludicrous, of course, to think the problem was limited to two people — the IG report last night specifically blamed ineffective management and, as Guy Benson reminds us, we already know that knowledge of the harassment went all the way up the chain — but pay attention to the fine print in the video clip at 1:22. Miller, the commissioner, apparently acknowledged that the IRS’s mishandling of this went beyond the two “rogues.” Evidently they’re setting up to put most of the blame on the two employees and then appease critics with some perfunctory “mistakes were made” shinola-eating from the higher-ups. All we need now is for some IRS exec to whine that the agency’s gotten too big to manage effectively and the self-serving scandal narrative will be complete. An obvious question: When they say the employees went “off the reservation,” are they suggesting that they’re prepared to acknowledge that they had a malevolent political agenda as opposed to just being “overzealous” in policing 501(c)(4)s or whatever? I’m keen to know what “going rogue” means in this case.

Meanwhile, Sean Higgins asks a good question: Why do the IG report’s timelines of what happened in this case begin with a heavily redacted entry?

On top of page 13 is a graph titled “Figure 5: Timeline of Events and Delays Involving the Processing of Potential Political Cases (******1***** through May 2012)” that redacts the first item, not even giving a date. A spokesman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee confirmed the “****1****” item was Treasury’s style for redactions.

The mystery date was apparently February 25, 2010, based on two appendixes in the back of the report…

The rest of the report references dates earlier than February, 2010, in laying out how the IRS came to target Tea Party groups. But the reference to February in both appendixes indicates something particularly noteworthy happened then in the evolution of the IRS’s policy. What was it?

A spokesman for the IRS referred any inquiries to the Treasury Department. A spokeswoman a Treasury referred the Examiner‘s question on the matter to its Inspector General. The IG’s office has not responded to a request for comment. (UPDATE: IG spokesman David Barnes emails: “As noted on the cover page of the report, some items have been redacted because the information could identify a specific taxpayer.”)

Why redact the entire entry rather than just the name of the taxpayer, though? Keep your eye on that February 2010 date, too: The NYT has a story out this afternoon noting that the GOP is interested to know how early IRS leadership, and even Treasury Department leadership, learned that this was going on. Quote:

It is clear that the I.R.S. headquarters in Washington was far more involved in the effort than initially portrayed. A “sensitive case report” on Tea Party targeting was sent from Cincinnati to Lois Lerner, the head of the I.R.S.’s division for tax-exempt organizations, and another Washington official on April 19, 2010, more than a year before previously thought. Ms. Lerner told reporters on Friday that she learned of the effort in early 2012 through news media reports of Tea Party complaints.

Even before then, in mid-March 2010, 10 Tea Party cases appear to have been brought to the attention of another senior I.R.S. official in Washington, just two weeks after the Cincinnati effort began, according to the inspector general’s audit.

How were the “rogue” employees operating “off the reservation” if Reservation HQ in D.C. had an idea of what they were up to as soon as two weeks after they started doing it? Stay tuned.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

I don’t believe for a second that all these employees doing it didn’t have supervisors monitoring their work.

Blake on May 15, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Didn’t they just hire a bunch of new people? I wonder if we will have to show our voter’s card for healthcare?

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 4:55 PM

IRS just got sued for $250 BILLION, yes, that’s with a B, for confiscating 60 MILLION medical records on 10 MILLION patients in GULAG. I guess we’ll find out the answer soon enough.

riddick on May 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM

The best way to handle this is to fire every person in the office, then announce that every person who comes clean gets their job back except for the offenders……they get a front row seat in a courtroom.

antipc on May 15, 2013 at 6:25 PM

This involves up to 500 organizations all across the nation. How is it possible that it involves two people at a Reds game?

xkaydet65 on May 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

I don’t believe for a second that all these employees doing it didn’t have supervisors monitoring their work.

Blake on May 15, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Let’s play pretend and say they didn’t. That is enough reason to have people fired.

CW on May 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

TWO EMPLOYEES? And what the hell was “management” doing all this time?

FIRE EVERY DAMNED ONE OF THEM!!!

GarandFan on May 15, 2013 at 6:32 PM

I don’t believe for a second that all these employees doing it didn’t have supervisors monitoring their work.

Blake on May 15, 2013 at 6:15 PM

…or the local greedy-union rep.

slickwillie2001 on May 15, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Let’s play along here. Fine, so two lowly employees can make hell for hundreds of groups on a whim. Got it.

Imagine what one “rogue” employee can do equally to destroy the lives and livelihoods of individuals and businesses, let alone 106 thousand possible rogue IRS employees in the mix.

Some defense IRS. Nothing but more proof even if we accept you BS here that the entire thing needs to be scrapped and a truly fair and impartial system put in its place.

Borgcube on May 15, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Ahem…”bullshit”

That is all.

a5minmajor on May 15, 2013 at 6:43 PM

NO, it was the IRS commissioner before Miller who just resigned and it was, Holly Paz, a director; John Shafer, a manager; Gary Muthert, a screener; Liz Hofacre, a case coordinator; and Joseph Herr, a manager

jake49 on May 15, 2013 at 7:13 PM

No it wasn’t. Two people couldn’t have perpetrated something on this scale. Everybody knows it came from the rotting head of the top fish Obamuh. Oh yeah, the emperor is naked, too.

stukinIL4now on May 15, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Kinda strange that they’d toss the acting commissioner under the bus for the actions of two rogue employees, dont’cha think?

RationalIcthus on May 15, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Oh 2 employees. well there ya go. case closed. gee wasnt that easy?

johnnyU on May 15, 2013 at 8:46 PM

People just don’t get it. This is coming out right before the implementation of Marxist care. This is simply to gauge reaction for the real enforcement that is about to be unleashed. Wake up.

bgibbs1000 on May 16, 2013 at 4:55 AM

It’s clear the IRS data leakers were instructed to do so by a superior or more, and those superiors were instructed by Democrat senators and congressmen, and no doubt the White House.

It was NOT any rogue op by a few Democrat true believers.

Anti-Statist on May 16, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3