Partisan warfare is erupting over the investigation into how
and why Tea Party groups were targeted by the IRS. Democrats are using the
statement of a self-described "conservative Republican" as evidence that the
inquiry needs to end.
That conservative Republican is Cincinnati IRS manager John
Shafer. He spent six hours answering Capitol Hill investigators' questions on
Thursday. He denies that the White House was behind the intense scrutiny of Tea
Party groups' applications for tax exempt status.
"I do not believe the screening of these cases had anything
to do other than consistency and identifying issues that needed to have further
development," Shafer said, according to quotes provided to FOX19 by House
Shafer says he was the one who asked Washington to get
"So (the) Washington IRS technical office did not ask him
for the case, he sent it," Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) told CBS's Face
the Nation. "And keep in mind…this was a 21-year veteran (of the IRS) and
he termed himself a conservative Republican."
Cummings said if he were chairman of the House Oversight
Committee he would end the investigation into the issue. The Republican who is
the chairman said he's not about to stop the inquiry and attacked Cummings'
"His extreme and reckless
assertions are a signal that his true motivation is stopping needed
congressional oversight and he has no genuine interest in working, on a
bipartisan basis, to expose the full truth," said Rep. Darrell Issa
Democrats accuse Issa of not exposing the full truth. He has
only released excerpts of transcripts to most media outlets. It was Cummings
and House Democrats who released portions of Shafer's interview.
Meanwhile, the transcripts from another Cincinnati IRS
worker's interview indicates he thought Washington was asking for the Tea Party
cases. Gary Muthert told investigators that his supervisor in Cincinnati told
him to look for Tea Party applications.
"He told me that
Washington, D.C., wanted some cases," Muthert said of his supervisor.
Issa says it's statements
like that which show the investigation needs to continue.
Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved. The Associated Press
contributed to this report.