IRS: Top official first told of targeting in 2012
The Internal Revenue Service says acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller was first informed in May 2012 that tea party groups were inappropriately targeted for scrutiny.
A month later he wrote a member of Congress to explain the process of reviewing applications for tax-exempt status without mentioning the controversy.
Over the past year, numerous lawmakers raised concerns with the IRS about complaints that tea party groups were being harassed. Each time the agency responded without mentioning that groups had been targeted. Miller provided some of those responses.
The agency apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see whether they were violating their tax-exempt status. In some cases, the IRS acknowledged, agents inappropriately asked for lists of donors.
White House counsel told
White House spokesman Jay Carney says the IRS inspector general notified the White House counsel's office during the week of April 22 that it was completing a review of the IRS office in Cincinnati that targeted conservative political groups for special examination. Carney says the counsel's office was not given details about the review.
Carney said President Barack Obama was not told about the review, and he reiterated Obama's assertion Monday that he did not learn such groups had been targeted until news reports broke Friday.
Obama called such behavior "outrageous" and said anyone involved needs to be "held fully accountable."
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