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Camp: IRS ‘Arrogance’ Came Across at Hearing

'Absolutely, the IRS misled Congress'

• May 17, 2013 10:44 pm

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Rep. Dave Camp (R., Mich.) said an "arrogance" came across from the IRS in the form of Steven Miller's testimony Friday about the conservative targeting scandal in an interview with Fox News.

Miller called the agency's actions an example of "horrible customer service," but did not think it was illegal that there was a list of criteria employees used to identify conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. Congressmen from both parties grilled Miller, the previous acting IRS commissioner, over failing to disclose last year that Tea Party and other conservative organizations were singled out for extra scrutiny, and his testimony was characterized as uncooperative and evasive Friday.

"I think an arrogance at the IRS came across in bright colors, and I think that was very disconcerting to all of us," Camp said. "I think as you saw the hearing go on, members became even more frustrated with that. In the sense that, again, they weren't really telling us why they didn't inform us as representatives of the American people, when we'd been inquiring after this for more than two years, and not only that, gave us assurances that this wasn't going on in hearings."

Then-commissioner Doug Shulman testified directly in March of 2012 that no such targeting had taken place, but an investigation revealed that a high-ranking IRS official knew as early as mid-2011 that conservative groups were receiving inappropriate scrutiny—nearly a year before Shulman told a congressional committee the agency was doing no such thing.

Camp, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee that questioned Miller, told Greta Van Susteren it was clear the IRS had lied to Congress and that conservatives were singled out, even though Miller tried to dismiss the behavior of IRS agents as incompetence, not intentional political scrutiny.

"Absolutely, the IRS misled Congress, and this goes to more than just tax-exempt organizations," he said. "They released confidential taxpayer information, they had access to donor lists, they performed audits. Those were all confirmed in today's hearing … What really was clear, it was one political viewpoint that was targeted. It was one political viewpoint that was brought in for questioning that was so far off the chart, you couldn't have made it up."

Full interview:

Published under: Congress, Dave Camp, Video