Democrats Say New IRS Documents Further Undercut IRS Scandal

The ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, on Friday sent a letter to Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), asking that J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, be recalled before the committee.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) and other Democrats want George to answer questions about his work and the report, published in May, that found that the IRS had improperly screened and handled applications for tax-exempt status from conservative groups. 

According to the letter, Democrats on the committee now have received several new documents from the IRS, which refer to the screening of applications from “progressive” and “Occupy” groups. A PowerPoint from a July 28, 2010 meeting, for instance, includes the term “progressive” along with “Tea Party,” “Patriots,” and “9/12 Project.” The minutes from the same meeting indicate that “Progressive” groups “should be sent to Group 7822, the same group in the IRS office in Cincinnati that was designated to handle Tea Party applicants,” according to Cummings. 

“Given the new documents obtained by the Committee—and the serious questions they raise about the Inspector General’s report, his testimony before Congress, and his subsequent assertions in letters to Members of Congress—I believe it is necessary to call him back before the Committee to explain why he failed to disclose this critical information,” Cummings wrote to Issa. 

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Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com
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