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According to Darrell Issa, (R-CA) and Chairman of the Committee on Government Oversight & Reform released excerpts from bipartisan transcribed interviews between Committee Investigators and Cincinnati IRS Employees. In these interviews Cincinnati IRS employees reject the White House’s claim that the targeting was merely work of “rogue” agents and say targeting of conservative political groups came from Washington, D.C.
Chairman Issa was on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, June 2, 2013 discussing these released excerpts. “As late as last week, the administration was still trying to say the [IRS targeting scandal] was from a few rogue agents in Cincinnati, when in fact the indication is that they were directly being ordered from Washington,” Issa told CNN.
Key testimony quotations from the provided excerpts follow. Note, the excerpts contain redactions in the original release.
IRS Witness Says They Were Thrown Under the Bus
Q: And you’ve heard, I’m sure, news reports about individuals here in Washington saying this is a problem that was originated in and contained in the Cincinnati office, and that it was the Cincinnati office that was at fault. What is your reaction to those types of stories?
A: Well, it’s hard to answer the question because in my mind I still hear people saying we were lowlevel employees, so we were lower than dirt, according to people in D.C. So, take it for what it is. They were basically throwing us underneath the bus.
Targeting Began Before 2010 Mid-Term Elections
Q: In early 2010, was there a time when you became aware of applications that referenced Tea Party or other conservative groups?
A: In March of 2010, I was made aware.
Q: Okay. Now, was there a point around this time period when [your supervisor] asked you to do a search for similar applications?
Q: To the best of your recollection, when was this request made?
A: Sometime in early March of 2010.
Directive and Demand for Specific NonProfit Application Files Came From D.C.
Q: Did [your supervisor] give you any indication of the need for the search, any more context?
A: He told me that Washington, D.C., wanted some cases.
Q: So as of April 2010, these 40 cases were held at that moment in your group; is that right?
A: Some were.
Q: How many were held there?
A: Less than 40. Some went to Washington, D.C.
Q: Okay. How many went to Washington, D.C.?
A: I sent seven.
Q: Did anyone else ever make a request that you send any cases to Washington?
A: [Different IRS employee] wanted to have two cases that she couldn’t Washington, D.C. wanted them, but she couldn’t find the paper. So she requested me, through an email, to find these cases for her and to send them to Washington, D.C.
Q: When was this, what time frame?
A: I don’t recall the time frame, maybe May of 2010.
Q: But just to be clear, she told you the specific names of these applicants.
Q: And she told you that Washington, D.C. had requested these two specific applications be sent to D.C.
A: Yes, or parts of them.
Was “Rogue Agent” Claim Preplanned?
From reading these excerpts of a sworn statement provided by the IRS agent solely responsible for processing the Tea Party applications, it looks plausible that the “rogue agent” claim was preplanned and this employee saw the handwriting on the wall so requested a job transfer.
Q: Earlier I believe you informed us that the primary reason for applying for another job in July  was because of the micromanagement from [Washington, DC, IRS Attorney], is that correct?
A: Right. It was the whole Tea Party. It was the whole picture. I mean, it was the micromanagement. The fact that the subject area was extremely sensitive and it was something that I didn’t want to be associated with.
Q: Why didn’t you want to be associated with it?
A: For what happened now. I mean, rogue agent? Even though I was taking all my direction from EO Technical [Washington, D.C], I didn’t want my name in the paper for being this rogue agent for a project I had no control over.
Q: Did you think there was something inappropriate about what was happening in 2010?
A: Yes. The inappropriateness was not processing these applications fairly and timely. (emphasis added)
Q: You have stated you had concerns with the fairness and the timeliness of the application process. Did you have concerns with just the fact that these cases were grouped together and you were the only one handling them?
A: I was the only one handling the Tea Party’s, that is correct.
Q: Did that specifically cause you concern?
A: Yes, it did. And I was the only person handling them.
Q: Were you concerned that you didn’t have the capacity to process all of the applications in a timely manner?
A: That is correct. And it is just I mean, like you brought up, the micromanagement, the fact that the topic was just weirdly handled was a huge concern to me. (emphasis added)
What type of work environment were these employees subjected to? Have they transferred to other positions and if so were their replacements more “administration friendly?” What other good tidbits are in their sworn testimony we haven’t seen yet? Did they receive and retain written directives? How many other people were instructed to ignore their work responsibilities? Who will be in the next round of subpoenaed witnesses and what insight will they provide? These and other questions must be answered. Demand the truth. Demand accountability. We are a Red Nation Rising.