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Va. Dem makes mockery of IRS hearing

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, 8:06 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — For the record, the Internal Revenue Service official in charge of implementing a big part of the new health care law tells Congress that she has never knowingly consorted with the devil. And she cannot fly.

Sarah Hall Ingram was testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday when Rep. Gerald Connolly tried to mock Republican efforts to demonize her. The Virginia Democrat asked Ingram several unorthodox questions about witchcraft as part of the hearing.

Some GOP lawmakers have been hammering Ingram for months because she once headed the IRS division that targeted conservative political groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. Hall said she left to run the agency's health care office in 2010, about six months before a top deputy learned about the targeting.

Ingram replied that she had seen Arthur Miller's play “The Crucible” performed, and that she was from New England, and was therefore familiar with the legendary witch trials in Salem, Mass., that form the basis of the play.

“Have you been consorting with the devil?” Connolly asked.

“Not to my knowledge, sir,” she answered, with a slight smile.

“Are reports that you can fly accurate?” he asked.

“Greatly exaggerated, sir” was her answer.

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