A recently-retired IRS attorney who spent 48 years with the agency told the House Oversight Committee today that the agency’s treatment of tea-party groups was unlike anything he saw seen in his 48-year career. Carter Hull could not provide committee chairman Darrell Issa with an explanation as to why the IRS would have “lumped them together” for special scrutiny. “I have no experience [with that],” he said.
Hull was assigned to provide guidance to the Cincinnati agent charged with processing tea-party cases, but was prevented from doing so when an adviser to Lois Lerner, the former director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations division, demanded the applications be reviewed by officials in the chief counsel’s office. As a result, the tea-party applications languished in both Washington and Cincinnati for over a year.