The IRS agent charged with processing tea-party applications said today that the applications of liberal groups did not receive additional scrutiny, as some Democrats have argued. ”There were occasions when other agents sent to me applications from liberal or non-tea-party-type groups,” Elizabeth Hofacre said in testimony before the House Oversight Committee. ”When that occurred, pursuant to the instructions that were given to me, I would send those applications to general inventory since they were not within the scope of the Tea Party emerging issue.”
In recent weeks, House Democrats including Elijah Cummings and Sander Levin have contended that because the terms “Progressive” and “Occupy” appeared on some of the IRS’s now-infamous “Be on the Lookout” lists, those groups were scrutinized in the same manner as tea-party organizations.
Inspector general J. Russell George, the author of the May report that concluded the IRS had inappropriately targeted tea parties, submitted testimony to the committee earlier today indicating that he is looking into allegations that liberal groups were also targeted but that, of the 298 cases the IRS selected for political review between May 2010 and May 2010, just three included the term “Progressive” in the organization’s name; none included the term “Occupy.”