Hearing on IRS Underway

The Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing on the IRS targeting of conservative groups. Former acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller is testifying now. You can watch here.

Also expected to testify: Former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman. Shulman was in charge when the targeting began in 2010.

Miller says the targeting was not partisan-engendered.

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    Lois Lerner to plead the 5th and won't testify. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Angel on Tue May 21, 2013 at 05:26:32 PM EST
    [http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-top-irs-official-fifth-amendment-20130521,0,6645565.story ]

    Peter - if you're around, I'd love to have your insight on this.  

    Apologies but this url doesn't want to be (none / 0) (#2)
    by Angel on Tue May 21, 2013 at 05:30:28 PM EST
    formatted into the proper linkage.  Jeralyn, if you need to delete please do so.

    I'll paste in the link (none / 0) (#3)
    by shoephone on Tue May 21, 2013 at 06:51:42 PM EST
    Thank you. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Angel on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:17:35 PM EST
    This scandal is not going away (none / 0) (#5)
    by Slado on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:24:44 PM EST
    Now WH changes its story every day.

    They need to stop playing politics and come down hard on the IRS.   The performance today in the senate was pathetic.

    They issued memos on the targeting but no one knows who did it?

    The only defense it seems is the government is run by idiots.


    The "performance today was pathetic"??? (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Angel on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:29:41 PM EST
    Is that because you didn't hear what you wanted to hear?

    What did Douglas Shulman testify to? (none / 0) (#7)
    by MKS on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:58:09 PM EST
    Miller I assume was a repeat....

    Read the transcript. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Slado on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:59:22 PM EST
    More of the same.  I didn't know anything and I don't know who gave the order.

    Greta job.


    So, unfortunately for the GOP (none / 0) (#14)
    by MKS on Tue May 21, 2013 at 08:15:27 PM EST
    no John Dean to point the finger at the White House.....Sooo disappointing...

    Yes (none / 0) (#8)
    by Slado on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:58:25 PM EST
    They were asked repeatedly who was responsible and they claimed to not know.

    Pathetic.  The constant theme of this administration lately is we're not at fault because even though we're supposed to be in charge we didn't know anything.



    Absolutely (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Yman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:58:39 PM EST
    They should "come down hard on the IRS!"

    Doesn't matter that we're in the middle of figuring out who, if anyone, did anything wrong, let alone the reasons for it.



    Question - Who is it ... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Yman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 08:10:01 PM EST
    ... you want to "come down hard on", specifically?

    You are aware of the Inspector General's investigation, are you not?  In case you're not, here's what he found:

    J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, whose report ignited this issue, told the Ways and Means hearing he could not determine who told employees to select organizations with certain words in their names.

    George said the investigation showed that higher-ups were not involved in the decision to send letters to organizations asking for unnecessary information. "All evidence indicates that staff at the Determinations Unit in Cincinnati sent these letters out with little or no supervisory review," George told the panel.

    So, given that you've repeatedly claimed this was done by unnamed "higher-ups" (with absolutely no evidence, as usual), who should they "come down hard on"?


    They should Impeach Obama (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by MKS on Tue May 21, 2013 at 08:19:19 PM EST
    and then Pre-Impeach Hillary, and then for good measure, pass a constitutional amendment that Climate Change is a hoax.

    "Pre-Impeach Hillary,"...LOL (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by NYShooter on Wed May 22, 2013 at 12:02:08 AM EST
    Before, or after they shoot her in the vagin-ghazi?

    Some radio guy apparently (none / 0) (#25)
    by MKS on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:55:38 AM EST
    really said shoot her in the vag....   I was surprised, I should not have been, that there really are people like that out there...

    Yes, he did say that. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Angel on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:26:56 AM EST
    You are aware (none / 0) (#18)
    by coast on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:46:18 PM EST
    that this was not an "investigation".  It was merely an audit, which should be obvious if you took time to read the report since it clearly states that it was prepared by the TIGTA Office of Audit and not the investigative division.  This makes a difference as they only sampled the application, reviewed documentation, and conducted "interviews" - which is not on the same level as "questioning" performed by the investigation unit.

    In addition, the audit was not conducted to detect criminal behavior and was not directed to find out who knew what and when.  It had three main objective which are clearly stated in the report.


    I am aware that ... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Yman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:46:15 PM EST
    ... I never mentioned anything about a criminal investigation.  I am also aware that an audit is an investigation.  Finally, I am further aware that the report is the best information to date regarding this issue.

    OTOH, if there has been a criminal investigation or any other inquiry - as opposed to mere allegations - of criminal behavior or other wrongdoing and who is responsible for the alleged crimes, by all means ...

    ... do share.


    There is a criminal investigation (none / 0) (#23)
    by coast on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:23:19 AM EST
    By DOJ which is why today's witness is taking the 5th.

    An audit is not an investigation, it's testing of samples.  I was an auditor for ten years.  There is a difference.


    Congrats (none / 0) (#24)
    by Yman on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:51:38 AM EST
    I know there is a criminal investigation.  I also know that there have been no findings or reports on that investigation, which is why the IG's report is the best information we have available right now.  The post I was responding to was demanding that they come down hard on the IRS now, which is why I indicated we might want to wait ("Doesn't matter that we're in the middle of figuring out who, if anyone, did anything wrong, let alone the reasons for it.") and that we don't yet know who, if anyone, did anything criminal.

    Finally - regardless of whatever issue you have with my use of the word "investigation", I was not using the word as a term-of-art.  I was using the word as it is generically used - as in a searching inquiry for ascertaining facts.  In fact, "investigation" is a synonym for "audit".


    You should (none / 0) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 21, 2013 at 08:26:15 PM EST
    read the article in the National Journal by Charlie Cook. It seems that the GOP is really more on a mission to destroy themselves than a fact finding mission. You can only cry wolf so many times before nobody believes you. The right wing echo chamber has convinced themselves that this is something just like Benghazi but that's apparently as far as it goes. Nobody believes what the GOP says. This is what you get for screaming "scandal" for 20 years.

    Remember last week when (none / 0) (#11)
    by Slado on Tue May 21, 2013 at 08:02:18 PM EST
    Obama dodged the question about the IRS?

    Smart move in a way.   If he hadn't said "I" instead of "we" he'd been lying.

    So? (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Yman on Tue May 21, 2013 at 08:05:08 PM EST
    That's never stopped you from making the accusation, anyway.

    True, Obama is bright and cautious (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by MKS on Tue May 21, 2013 at 08:17:26 PM EST
    So, you guy think he is stupid enought to order the IRS targeting of conservatives....

    And what about that Tea Party favorite, the magical deficit, they said they were so concerned about?


    Quit changing the subject (1.00 / 4) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 22, 2013 at 07:17:26 AM EST
    The deficit has nothing to do with IRS crimes Obama has ordered.

    "IRS crimes Obama has ordererd"?!? (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Yman on Wed May 22, 2013 at 07:38:58 AM EST
    Jim, there is absolutely zero evidence that Obama "ordered" anything, let alone that he ordered "crimes".

    Question - what is the difference between baseless, scurrilous accusations based on nothing ...

    ... and outright lies?