by JOHN NOLTE 22 May 2013, 8:08 AM PDT
In a startling exchange Wednesday during the IRS hearings before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, America learned that the IRS knew in May of 2012 that its employees were targeting conservative organization with paralyzing harassment and Kafka-esque audits. Although the IRS knew this, they did not report this information to Congress.
"While a tremendous amount of attention is centered about the Inspector General's report, or investigation, the committee has learned from Ms. Paz that she in fact participated in an IRS internal investigation that concluded in May of 2012 - May 3 of 2012 - and found essentially the same thing that Mr. George found more than a year later," Committee Chair Issa said.
"Think about it," Issa continued. "For more than a year, the IRS knew that it had inappropriately targeted groups of Americans based on their political beliefs, and without mentioning it, and in fact without honestly answering questions that were the result of this internal investigation."
Issa then turned his attention to Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George. George's IRS audit wasn't completed until the middle of this month, but backed by statute, Issa told George that he had a legal obligation to inform Congress of what he was finding in the process of completing his audit.
George responded that it wouldn’t be proper to inform Congress before the IRS had an opportunity to put their input into his report.
Issa responded forcefully that the statute says nothing about the audit being complete; it stays Congress must be kept up to date.
Issa produced a number of emails where members of Congress reached out to Treasury and the IRS demanding updates. The responses from both organizations come off as nothing more than stonewalling.
It is not hard to see where this is headed. We apparently have the IRS covering up their findings from Congress six-months before the election, and the Obama Administration -- in the form of the Treasury Department -- stonewalling Congress on their findings (possibly in violation of the law) before the election.