FOX19's Jennifer Grove takes IRS investigation to Washington
WASHINGTON, DC (FOX19) - In D.C. there are two different IRS scandal narratives you can hear in the hallways of the U.S. Capitol. One story will stretches to the IRS headquarters and the other is Cincinnati-based.
"We want to know the link between there and Washington," Representative Jim Jordan of R-Ohio told FOX19. "We want to know who gave the order? When did it start? Why'd it go on? When the BOLO list was changed?"
The first tea party case was flagged in February of 2010 and sent to a manger according to a memo from democratic representative Elijah Cummings who is the ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
"He then said 'Let me take a look at it', and he made the decision, the Republican conservative manger, to send it to D.C.," Cummings said.
In March of 2010, the Determinations Unit Group Manager John Shafer asked a specialist to search for other tea party or similar organizations applications to determine the scope of the issue.
"He was acting very responsibly," Cummings said. "He saw something that he thought needed to be addressed and I'm sure he set aside any personal feelings in regard to being this conservative republican and he did what he thought was right based upon IRS law, period."
Transcripts reviewed by FOX19 state Gary Muthert told interviewers a manager asked him to find out how many tea parties cases were in their system. When asked if he would give examples of other words or phrases that he used as criteria in his searches Muthert responded by saying, "Well, one was "patriots," and the '912 projects".
Muthert was told Washington D.C. wanted some cases and he said seven were sent to the technical division.
Liz Hofacre was the Cincinnati worker assigned the tea party cases. Transcripts state there was so much review from the technical unit IRS Lawyer Carter Hull in D.C. that she "had no autonomy" and was getting so frustrated that in July she applied for another job.
Hofacre said she created the bolo list in August of 2010 before she was promoted. "That would be correct," she stated.
But Hofacre told interviewers she was given the language to use in the worksheet.
"Exactly" she wrote, "What happened was [a Cincinnati manager], I believe it was him, told me what to put in there."
So far no transcripts reviewed by FOX19 confirm any political bias or motivation.
"There's nothing in those transcripts that concern me in any way. I want them to be released," Cummings told FOX19.
"The democratic member said this thing is solved and we need to move on," Jordan stated. "Well if it's solved why won't Lois Lerner who is still employed and paid by the tax payers, why won't she come forward and answer questions?"
Republican leaders on the committee have called for eight more workers to be made available for interviews and nine to be put on standby.
"There's nothing wrong if they continue to do that I just don't want to see a witch hunt," Cummings said.
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