IRS Manager Behind Tea Party Screening is a “Conservative Republican”

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Last week, Darrell Issa released a few carefully chosen excerpts from interviews with IRS managers in Cincinnati which tried to imply that “Washington”—by which he meant the White House—was behind the targeting of tea party groups. Today, Democrats are fighting back with their own set of carefully chosen excerpts from the interviews. For example, this one from the manager of the IRS Screening Group in Cincinnati:

He states that he has worked at the IRS for 21 years as a civil servant and supervised a team of several Screening Agents in that office. When asked by Republican Committee staff about his political affiliation, he answered that he is a “conservative Republican.”

….Q: In your opinion, was the decision to screen and centralize the review of Tea Party cases the targeting of the President’s political enemies?

A: I do not believe that the screening of these cases had anything to do other than consistency and identifying issues that needed to have further development.

This manager goes on to tell committee staff that the decision to elevate the first tea party case was his; that it wasn’t motivated by political concerns in any way; and that the use of specific search terms (“tea party,” “patriot,” etc.) came from a line worker in his group.

Needless to say, this doesn’t put an end to things. Cincinnati workers, after all, have a vested interest in denying political motivation, since they could lose their jobs over that. And it’s still possible that the attorneys in Washington who reviewed all this stuff had political motivations. Still, it’s looking less likely all the time. As happens so often, this is almost certainly a case of incompetence, not malice. More here from the Washington Post.

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate