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White House Accounts of Who Knew What, When on IRS Still Unfolding

Image: White House Accounts of Who Knew What, When on IRS Still Unfolding Denis McDonough

By Melanie Batley   |   Tuesday, 21 May 2013 10:26 AM

The White House added Monday to its account of the people who had advanced knowledge of the investigation into the IRS targeting of conservative groups, saying for the first time that White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough had been informed about a month ago, Politico reported Tuesday.

Press Secretary Jay Carney, however, continued to insist that President Barack Obama had no knowledge of the investigation before the media reported it on May 10.

The revelation that McDonough, along with other senior staff members, was in the know marked the fifth version of the evolving story from the White House about who knew what and when about the intensive focus that was put on tea party and other conservative groups applying for tax exemptions.

The Wall Street Journal
reported Tuesday that the IRS consulted the Treasury Department in late April about plans to apologize for its actions.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew initially said he had no knowledge of the probe until news broke in the press, but on May 17, according to Politico, he revealed during an interview with Bloomberg News that he'd first learned of the inspector general's investigation in March.

Lew is scheduled to testify Tuesday before a Senate panel, where lawmakers are expected to ask about who initially ordered the targeting effort, that began in 2010, and why it wasn't stopped until last year when the inspector general began investigating.

Watching the White House struggle with its various explanations of who knew what and when made some Republicans practically giddy.

"I can't wait until tomorrow's version of events," tweeted Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner.

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