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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Interviews with IRS agent suggest Tea Party targeting came from Washington

Interviews with an IRS field agent involved in the agency targeting Tea Party groups for additional vetting appear to contradict the White House assertion that rogue agents, not the administration, were behind the effort, according to partial transcripts released Sunday by the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee.

The agent in the Cincinnati office, in which the targeting took place, told congressional investigators that he or she was told in March 2010 by a supervisor to search for Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status and that “Washington, D.C., wanted some cases.”

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 specific applicants in which Washington was interested.

When asked by congressional investigators about allegations and press reports about two agents in Cincinnati essentially being responsible for the targeting, the agent responded:

“It's impossible. 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.” (Continues)

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