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.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.