Who's ready for another major shift in the IRS' official story? In recent days, Darrell Issa's Democratic counterpart on the House Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings, has been telling anyone who will listen that Congress' IRS "witch hunt" is over and resolved. His absurd assertions -- from which he's edged away slightly -- smack of desperation, especially considering that new developments continue to arise. Why, here's one just now, and it's a biggie:
The Internal Revenue Service's screening of groups seeking tax-exempt status was broader and lasted longer than has been previously disclosed, the new head of the agency said Monday. In a conference call with reporters, Danny Werfel said that after becoming acting IRS chief last month, he discovered wide-ranging and improper terms on lists screeners were still using to choose groups for careful examinations. He did not specify what terms were on the lists, but said he suspended the use of all such lists immediately. "There was a wide-ranging set of categories and cases that spanned a broad spectrum" on the lists, Werfel said. He added that his aides found those lists contained "inappropriate criteria that was in use." Werfel's comments suggest the IRS may have been targeting groups other than tea party and other conservative organizations for tough examinations to see if they qualify. The agency has been under fire since last month for targeting those groups. His comments also indicate that the use of inappropriate terms on such lists lasted longer than has been revealed previously. A report last month by a Treasury Department inspector general said agency officials abolished targeting of conservative groups with those lists in May 2012.
It seems the Inspector General report missed the boat on the ongoing malfeasance detail. This is the same report Cummings cites as sufficient oversight, which totally ignores the IG's questionable timing in releasing its findings. And just for good measure, Werfel serves up this verdict:
"We have not found evidence of intentional wrongdoing by anyone in the IRS or involvement in these matters by anyone outside the IRS," he told reporters.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography