IRS Hearing May 21: Shulman, Miller, and J. Russell George (the IG)
Today we learned from IG George that George attends monthly meetings with Treasury. We learned that the Chief Counsel of the IRS was briefed by George before the IG's audit began (May 2012).
George explained that his was an audit, not an investigation. That the findings in his audit report were based upon interviewing IRS employees. That it was not sworn testimony by them and that no subpoenas were issued. And that only IRS employees (not treasury) were interviewed. That based upon the audit findings, there will be followup by the IG and that folllow up could mean an investigation. That the focus of an investigation would be on the persons and their misconduct.
Apparently that is why no names in the audit report and that the audit report did not report "criminal" activity. Mr. George seemed to indicate that the IG followup would lead to a full blown investigation. His audit did not include investigating instances wherein the IRS shared tax returns and other private information -- for example, the private info given to Politico.
George said his unit is still processing reviews of what IRS regulations were violated.
We also learned that ex-IRS Commissioner Shulman did not know what was happening and when he did hear about it, he did nothing. There was no internal investigation.
Miller said he asked Nancy Marks to go to Cincinnati in March to find out what was going on. She reported back to him on May 3, but he could not recall her report nor who she said might have been responsible for telling application processing agents to target certain organizations.
About using a BOLO list to target certain organizations, it began around March 2010. Shulman was the IRS commissioner at that time and had been for 4 or more years. He says he did not know about it. Miller was his deputy. Not sure when he first knew of it.
Miller said today that Lois Lerner (her office in Wash DC) knew about it and in July 2011 issued an order to stop it. How long it stopped is unknown, but it did resume and continued into 2012. Miller was asked today who changed Lerner's order to stop it.
Miller said: "the person below Lois Lerner". He did not give a name nor a title for the person below Lois Lerner who changed the order.
Lois Lerner has been called to testify before another hearing tomorrow. Perhaps we will learn more than "I don't know; I can't remember."
Miller today testified that he was the one who decided to plant the question at the ABA conference for Lois Lerner to answer and apologize. That was the solution they had decided would be in front of (and soften) the public release of the IG's report. Miller said that was a mistake.
Now Miller has admitted that it was his idea to plant the question for Lerner to answer that opened the first door on this IRS mess. How convenient that he was planning on retiring from IRS in June anyway.
One reporter says:
Yeah? Let's see it break his pocketbook! He just rides off into the sunset with his Federal retirement and other benefits intact.
Chris Moody @Chris_Moody
Outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller on the perception of the agency after scandal: "It breaks my heart."
What penalty is there once some Fed employee admits they were incompetent? Almost none. What happens when this same employee admits he lied (while simultaneously saying he didn't lie)? Nothing much, it would appear.
Then, of course, nobody up the chain had a clue that their underlings were doing this.
This seems a perfect example of govt that has reached critical mass ... when employees can violate laws with impugnity and nobody has a clue.
At the very least, the release of the news of this malfeasance smacks of politics. So, if the media wants to rag on the Rs for playing politics, they ought to be equally fair in noting the political motivations of those involved in the malfeasance, along with gross negligence. We actually pay these "smart" bureaucrats for this kind of performance?
"Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none ever happened." -Libby Fudim
I don't use the PM feature, so just email me direct at the address shown above.
202 organizations were targeted which did not have "tea party", "patriot", etc. in their name. Questions were asked Shulman and Miller as to what was the criteria to select those organizations for IRS extra scrutiny. Neither Shulman nor Miller could respond. (Gee, these guys don't know much about how their agency operates.)
IG George said that his dept. is starting to audit the 202 individual orgs to see what in their applications would warrant targeting.
Now Lois Lerner is invoking her 5th Amendment rights....think some other sphincters are about to pucker
All my Exes live in Texas
Originally Posted by lanse brown