It all came to the surface when Lois Lerner, director of the IRS’ exempt organizations unit apologized a week ago for front-line employees who inappropriately flagged for further review organizations with the descriptors, “tea party” or “patriot.” To better understand what the IRS did, according to reason.com: The audit depicts agents in 2010, earlier than IRS brass previously had stated, pulling out 501(c)(4) applications with “Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in the organizations name,” as well as “political-sounding names.” In May 2010, the Determinations Unit began developing a spreadsheet that would become known as the “Be On the Look Out” list, according to the audit.
When President Obama was asked if he knew about the scandal before it was revealed, he would only said that he didn’t know about what was in the Inspector General’s report until it was released. If anyone in the White House was aware of the IRS scandal beforehand, this could cause a huge problem.
Among other things that are unclear about the scandal is whether the IRS leaked confidential tax information from one group to another. Steven T Miller, the IRS’s outgoing acting commissioner, denied anything illegal was done when it came to targeting groups.
After the hearing, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said “What we don’t know at this point is whether it jumped the fence from the IRS to the White House. But we do know this: We can’t count on the administration to be forthcoming about the details of this scandal — because so far they’ve been anything but.”