Watching developments about the IRS this week will be like watching a train wreck … and both sides of the political aisle will be demanding more answers.
Today (June 3) the new acting commissioner of the IRS is scheduled to appear before a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. Danny Werfel will be answering questions after a weekend of more bad news for the IRS.
The Treasury Department released a preliminary report showing the IRS spent about 50 million to hold at least 220 conferences for employees from 2010 to 2012.
About $60,000 was spent on team-building videos that spoofed the TV shows “Star Trek” and “Gilligan’s Island.” Another video shows IRS agents learning a “line dance”.
Another issue, where there had been reports that only a couple of Cincinnati IRS “rogue” agents targeted conservative groups and individuals, there are now reports that almost 90 agents had been involved in such actions.
Still another development involves an agent in the Cincinnati office telling congressional investigators that a supervisor ordered a search for Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status and that “Washington, D.C., wanted some cases.” The agent says this happened in March 2010.
The agent said that by April the office had held up roughly 40 cases and at least seven were sent to Washington. In addition, the agent said, a second IRS employee asked for information on two other cases.
The agent is quoted as saying: “As an agent we are controlled by many, many people. We have to submit many, many reports. So the chance of two agents being rogue and doing things like that could never happen. … They were basically throwing us underneath the bus.”
That certainly appears to contradict White House Press Secretary Jay Carney as the Administration has denied any prior knowledge that some conservative groups/individuals were “targeted”.
Yesterday on CNN’s “State of the Union” program, California Republican Darrell Issa blasted Carney: “Their paid liar, their spokesperson … he’s still making up things about what happened and calling this a local rogue.”