Dems, GOP diverging on IRS
WASHINGTON — Low-level IRS employees will testify before a congressional committee this week as Democrats move to challenge the basis of the investigation into the agency's targeting of Tea Party groups.
Thursday's hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee may highlight the fracture in the once bipartisan outrage into the scandal.
Democrats, such as Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., want to know why an inspector general's probe didn't include evidence that liberal groups' applications for tax-exempt status were given additional scrutiny as well. Cummings released documents on Friday showing key words such as “progressive” and “Occupy” appeared on watch lists for IRS screeners.
Republicans still want to know how high in the Obama administration the decisions in the targeting went. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said last week,
“Even as dozens of applications for progressive groups were being approved, orders from senior levels within the IRS resulted in inappropriate and disparate treatment for Tea Party applications.”
A congressional source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Sunday that three witnesses have been invited to testify. They are Elizabeth Hofacre, the emerging issues coordinator in the IRS's Cincinnati office who handled the Tea Party cases before seeking a transfer in 2010; Carter “Chip” Hull, an IRS lawyer in Washington who advised Hofacre on those cases; and Steve Grodnitzky, Hull's supervisor.
Hofacre has told congressional investigators she felt “micromanaged to death” by Hull and that Grodnitzky had asked Tea Party groups to disclose any contracts they might enter, according to transcripts of interviews reviewed by USA Today.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Social Security benefits to go up by 1.7 percent
- North Korean detainee reunites with family in Ohio
- Expert: Stress level rises for Americans who forfeit vacation
- Congress examines NSA official’s part-time job
- Still reeling from fire, FAA pushes changes
- Man confesses to killing 7 women around Gary, Ind.; charges in other slayings possible
- U.S. doctor’s book recounts rescue in Afghanistan in which Norwin graduate died
- Panetta skipped CIA’s OK of book, potentially putting agency in delicate position with others
- Archaeologists sift through Everglades muck for history
- 5 airports to handle all U.S.-bound travelers from Ebola-stricken nations
- Governor to form Ferguson Commission to study underlying social issues in shooting