On Monday, Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., labeled the inspector general report that kick-started the tea party targeting scandal by the IRS as “fundamentally flawed” due to its exclusion of details that progressive groups were also spotlighted for closer inspection, Politico reports.
Levin, the highest ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, is pressing Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George for answers as to whether it looked into liberal organizations with the same intensity it investigated the agency’s oversight of groups using terms such as “tea party” or “patriot” when applying for tax exempt status.
“The American public expects competent, impartial, unbiased, and non-political treatment from the IRS,” Levin wrote. “That same standard is also applicable to you and your organization. Your audit served as the basis and impetus for a wide range of congressional investigations and this new information shows that the foundation of those investigations is flawed in a fundamental way.”
IRS Chief Daniel Werfel said on Monday that “be on the look out” (BOLO) lists included more than conservative search terms.
According to documents provided to the House Ways and Means Committee, The IRS continued to use the “progressives” search term until April 2013.
Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., bristled at Levin’s suggestion that liberal groups were put under the IRS’s microscope as severely as conservative organizations.
“It is one thing to flag a group, it is quite another to repeatedly target and abuse conservative groups,” a Camp spokeswoman said. “Tea Party groups were not just on a BOLO they were (1) sent intrusive and inappropriate questions, (2) had their donors threatened with gift taxes and (3) had their confidential information leaked.”
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