Looking Ahead to Thursday’s IRS Hearing
Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee has announced that additional witnesses will appear at Thursday’s hearing on the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of tea-party groups. Three members of the Treasury Department inspector general’s office will appear before the committee, including inspector general J. Russell George and his chief counsel, in addition to recently-retired IRS attorney Carter Hull and the Cincinnati agent he is accused of micromanaging, Elizabeth Hofacre.
The summoning of the inspector general and his TIGTA colleagues appears to be a response to the accusations of Elijah Cummings, the committee’s ranking member, that the IG’s investigation was “characterized by one-sided and partial information leading to unsubstantiated accusations with no basis in fact.” Cummings last week accused George of excluding evidence from his report that the IRS also targeted liberal and progressive groups while playing up the agency’s discrimination against tea-party organizations. The Maryland’s congressman’s call to investigate the investigator was the latest in a long line of remarks aimed at putting the brakes on the committee’s investigation; walking back his statement that the scandal had been “solved,” he instead told Politico that the committee was conducting a “witch hunt.”
Expect fireworks Thursday as the two come face to face.
UPDATE: This has been modified since its original posting.