IRS Manager Behind Tea Party Screening is a “Conservative Republican”

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Last week, Darrell Issa released a few carefully chosen excerpts from interviews with IRS managers in Cincinnati which tried to imply that “Washington”—by which he meant the White House—was behind the targeting of tea party groups. Today, Democrats are fighting back with their own set of carefully chosen excerpts from the interviews. For example, this one from the manager of the IRS Screening Group in Cincinnati:

He states that he has worked at the IRS for 21 years as a civil servant and supervised a team of several Screening Agents in that office. When asked by Republican Committee staff about his political affiliation, he answered that he is a “conservative Republican.”

….Q: In your opinion, was the decision to screen and centralize the review of Tea Party cases the targeting of the President’s political enemies?

A: I do not believe that the screening of these cases had anything to do other than consistency and identifying issues that needed to have further development.

This manager goes on to tell committee staff that the decision to elevate the first tea party case was his; that it wasn’t motivated by political concerns in any way; and that the use of specific search terms (“tea party,” “patriot,” etc.) came from a line worker in his group.

Needless to say, this doesn’t put an end to things. Cincinnati workers, after all, have a vested interest in denying political motivation, since they could lose their jobs over that. And it’s still possible that the attorneys in Washington who reviewed all this stuff had political motivations. Still, it’s looking less likely all the time. As happens so often, this is almost certainly a case of incompetence, not malice. More here from the Washington Post.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate