Saturday, May 18, 2013

Grilling the IRS

Photo Credit: Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Congress’ Ways and Means Committee held a hearing today with acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller to investigate IRS abuses against conservative groups. One of the revelations concerned a question that IRS official Lois Lerner was asked during her May 10 appearance on a conference panel. In response to a question from Celia Roady, who was sitting in the audience, Lerner for the first time publicly revealed that the IRS had targeted conservative groups.   
Responding to my questioning during today’s hearing, Steven Miller admitted that Roady’s question to Lerner was orchestrated in advance. Note that just two days before that, Lerner had appeared before the Ways and Means Committee and never mentioned the targeting of conservatives. Instead of admitting these abuses to Congress, Lerner and Miller apparently believed the impact of the abuses would be reduced if they were first revealed during a conference panel, in response to a scripted question designed to appear spontaneous. After Miller’s testimony today, Roady admitted that her question was pre-arranged with Lerner.

You can watch my questioning of Miller here, and read about the exchange here and here.

While we made some progress today in bringing the truth to light, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, including who ordered the abuses, whether any government officials outside the IRS were involved, and why IRS representatives outright lied to Congress about this for so long.

You have not heard the end of this story. More likely, it’s just the beginning.