Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a memo ahead of Thursday's Committee hearing on accusations that the White House and Obama Administration used the IRS as a political tool to target the President's political enemies.
The Cummings memo includes new information from all 15 interviews of IRS employees conducted by the Committee over the past two months—including six self-identified Republicans working in both Cincinnati and Washington D.C.
The memo finds:
"Since the Chairman and other Republicans first began accusing the Administration of targeting ‘the president's political enemies,' the Committee has identified no evidence whatsoever—documentary, testimonial, or otherwise—to substantiate these claims. Despite an extremely aggressive investigation involving thousands of documents and more than a dozen interviews of IRS employees, the overwhelming evidence before the Committee reveals no political motivation or White House involvement in this process."
For example, the Cummings memo reveals that a Tax Law Specialist working in the Washington, D.C. office of the IRS on several applications from Tea Party groups—who described herself as a Republican—drafted a guide sheet on how to handle political advocacy cases. In response to being asked if there was any evidence that the IRS targeted the President's political enemies, she told Committee staff:
"No, not at all. That's kind of laughable that people think that. No, not at all. This is purely cases that, unfortunately, Cincinnati didn't have enough guidance on. That (c)(4) area is a very, very difficult area, and there's not much guidance. And so the lingering length of time, unfortunately, was just trying to apply the law to the specific facts of each case. … I would describe the process, in my experience, in my opinion, from when I started, was that Cincinnati had just a giant influx at a certain period of time of applications that were applying for (c)(4) mostly, some for (c)(3)s, and that had what they thought was kind of a political campaign advocacy component, and didn't really know how to move forward or if there was a problem, because there were so many at the same time, and with the little guidance out there, what to exactly do, because of the concerns raised by political campaign intervention activities that might occur."
The full memo is available here:
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