The former head of the embattled Internal Revenue Service visited the White House at least 157 times since President Barack Obama first took office in 2009 — more times than any other Cabinet member, an analysis of visitor logs shows.
The visits by former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman were more than double those of Attorney General Eric Holder, one of the president's closest allies and who remains under fire for several scandals involving the Justice Department, The Daily Caller reports
Holder has visited the White House only 62 times since he became attorney general, according to the analysis.
Shulman's visits contrasted with his predecessor, Mark Everson, who visited the White House only once during the four years of the George W. Bush administration.
The records may not reflect every visit, however, as some officials do not have to sign in each time they come to the White House.
Shulman's visits raise questions about what was discussed with White House officials — even the president — particularly when the IRS was singling out tea party, conservative, and religious groups for extra scrutiny over their applications for tax-exempt status, the Daily Caller reports.
For instance, during a period in which the groups were targeted — through the 2012 election and as far back as 2010 — Shulman logged 118 trips to the White House.
In testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week, Shulman cited several reasons for the visits: "The Easter Egg roll with my kids . . . questions about the administrability of tax policy . . . our budget, us helping the Department of Education streamline application processes for financial aid.”
No other top official has visited the White House 100 times, the Daily Caller reports.
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