The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight has thrown down an investigative gauntlet to the Internal Revenue Service, demanding that the agency hand over by next Wednesday every communication in its records that includes the words “tea party,” “patriot” or “conservative.”
The committee is also demanding of the IRS that by next Wednesday it provide the committee with the names and titles of all individuals who were involved in targeting conservative non-profit groups for more intensive review of their applications for non-profit status.
The request follows a report this morning from the Associated Press that Lois Lerner, director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division, said at an American Bar Association conference that the IRS had targeted for special review applications of non-profit groups that included the words “tea party” or “patriot.”
“That was wrong,” the AP quoted Lerner as saying. “That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and inappropriate. That’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review.”
“The IRS would like to apologize for that,” Lerner said.
Lerner’s statement at the ABA conference, however, seems to contradict testimony that then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman made in the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight on March 22, 2012.
At that hearing, Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany (R.-La.) specifically asked Shulman about allegations that the IRS had been targeting Tea Party groups.
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