Whether the Internal Revenue Service controversy explodes into something bigger comes down to this: Did anyone in the Obama administration know before the Nov. 6 election that the agency singled out Tea Party groups for extra screening?
The NorCal Tea Party Patriots, a northern California-based advocacy group, sued the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for allegedly breaching its federal privacy rights and the rights of like-minded organizations.
President Barack Obama’s chief of staff was told that an investigation found IRS employees improperly scrutinized Tea Party and small-government advocacy groups seeking tax-exempt status before the report was made public, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
During President Barack Obama’s May 16 news conference, reporter Jeff Mason asked as part of his question: “And, more broadly, how do you feel about comparisons by some of your critics of this week’s scandals to those that happened under the Nixon administration?” The president responded, “I’ll let you guys engage in those comparisons, and you can go ahead and read the history, I think, and draw your own conclusions.”
President Barack Obama is facing a make-or-break week as he tries to seize control of three scandal story lines that could upend one of the top priorities of his second term: revising the nation’s immigration laws.
Republicans defended Mitt Romney against criticism from Democrats that he avoided taxes by keeping money stashed overseas. Those roles are now reversed with the disclosure that President Barack Obama’s pick to run the Commerce Department does the same thing.
Republicans, angry over the Internal Revenue Service scrutiny of anti-tax groups, have aimed their frustration at a career employee with a bonus benefit: She’s charged with overseeing an enforcement portion of the health- care law.
House lawmakers say ousted Internal Revenue Service chief Steven Miller failed to fully explain why he didn’t inform them for more than a year that small-government groups seeking tax-exempt status were subject to extra scrutiny.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said he learned in general terms about a probe into IRS screening of tax-exempt groups in March and now has ordered agency officials to deliver within 30 days a plan to correct any “systemic” shortcomings.