While media focus has shifted outside Washington for arguably the first time all summer with the power struggle in Egypt and George Zimmerman case in Florida, the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing Thursday with ex-IRS employees to find out the extent of Washington’s involvement in the targeting of Tea Party groups. Joining them will be Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George, where he’ll have to defend to Democrats why his original IG report did not include evidence that some liberal groups were also possibly targets of the IRS’s scrutiny, USA Today reports:
J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, will face questions from Democrats about why his May 14 report did not include evidence that might have tamped down allegations that the targeting was politically motivated. Recently released documents have shown that the IRS also used the key words "Progressive" and "Occupy" to identify political groups for added scrutiny, and that a review of 5,500 e-mails by IRS employees showed no political bias.
George has already defended the report this week saying that 30 percent of progressive groups were flagged, while 100 percent of Tea Party groups were flagged and their applications subsequently delayed.
The Washington Times also reports this week that a government watchdog has found that confidential tax records of several political candidates and campaign donors were improperly scrutinized by government officials, yet the Justice Department has declined to prosecute the cases. Watchdogs are also investigating allegations that the IRS "targeted for audit candidates for public office."
On 'Real News' Tuesday the panel discussed the latest developments in the IRS-scandal and if there is still bipartisan support for continued investigations.
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