IRS commissioner resigns amid tea party targeting scandal - Tucson News Now

IRS commissioner resigns amid tea party targeting scandal

IRS acting commissioner Steven Miller resigned amid allegations his organization targeted tea party groups applying for tax-exempt status. (Source: CNN) IRS acting commissioner Steven Miller resigned amid allegations his organization targeted tea party groups applying for tax-exempt status. (Source: CNN)
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(RNN) - The acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service has resigned amid allegations his group targeted conservative groups.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew asked for and accepted the resignation of Steven T. Miller, President Barack Obama announced Wednesday, calling the conduct of the IRS "inexcusable." 

"Americans have a right to be angry about it and I am angry about it," Obama said, promising, "I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but particularly in the IRS, given the power that is has and the reach that it has in all of our lives."

"It doesn't matter what political stripe you are from, the fact of the matter is, the IRS has to operate with absolutely integrity," the president said during the news conference where he did not take questions.

Groups with words like "tea party" or "patriot" in their names that were applying for tax exempt statuses from the IRS were among the targeted.

A report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found "the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status" starting in 2010.

Groups were asked for unnecessary information and their applications for tax-exempt status were delayed in processing.

The report states: "Many organizations received requests for additional information from the IRS that included unnecessary, burdensome questions (e.g., lists of past and future donors). The IRS later informed some organizations that they did not need to provide previously requested information."

"During the 2012 election cycle, some members of Congress raised concerns to the IRS about selective enforcement and the duty to treat similarly situated organizations consistently," the report reads, which prompted the review by the TIGTA.

The announcement was made during a week in which the White House finds itself battling three high profile scandals.

In addition to the IRS scandal, the Obama administration has also been forced to address renewed questions about the Benghazi attacks. The attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya killed four Americans, including an ambassador. On Wednesday, the White House released 100 pages of emails sent in the wake of the attack, hoping to thwart accusations that they covered up that they knew it was a terrorist attack, not a spontaneous demonstration, as the administration initially claimed.

They have also faced questions about the Justice Department's obtaining phone records from the Associated Press.

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