During yesterday’s Oversight Committee hearing on the latest IRS involving preferential contract awards to Strong Castle, Inc., Representatives Jordan and Meadows seized the opportunity to interrogate IRS Deputy Commission Tucker on her briefing by the IG on his preliminary findings in the targeting case, yet failed to correct the record with Congress of sworn testimony previously provided by her boss.
Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) (@Jim_Jordan)
In his inquiry of Beth Tucker, Deputy Commissioner at the IRS, he was able to confirm there are only 2 Deputy Commissioners with no one between the Deputy and Commissioner levels.
Rep. Jordan charges right into the Inspector General’s findings in May 2012 that conservative groups were targeted by the IRS, mentioning that 3 people from the IRS were in the de-briefing with the IG, including Mr. Shulman (who has conveniently retired), Mr. Miller (who was fired, although he was retiring within days) and Ms. Tucker. Ms. Tucker stated that that meeting was the first time she was aware of the “situation” as she refers to it, being the targeting of conservative groups. Ms. Tucker goes on to respond to Rep. Jordan’s questions that she was unaware of the internal investigation launched by Mr. Miller and that she only became aware of the targeting on the same day as Mr. Shulman.
Rep Jordan rightfully snaps at Ms. Tucker with “cut to the chase, what was the reaction when you found out there’s targeting of political groups six months before a presidential election, what was the reaction from the top three people at the IRS?” when she tries to stall and runs on about routine monthly meetings with the Inspector General. Instead of answering his question, Ms. Tucker explains they receive the information and wait for the Inspector General to finish his audit.
Rep. Jordan Nails Her Coffin Shut
“Well it would have been helpful if once you got that information (referring to the IG’s assessment) you’d have shared it with this Committee (referring to the Oversight Committee…In fact, we’re the Committee who asked for the audit in the first place. We would have liked to have known six months before an election, May 30th of last year, that targeting was going on. Did you instruct Russell George to share this information with the House Ways & Means Committee and with the House Oversight Committee?”
Jordan: Did you tell Mr. George, you know you might want to share that with the Oversight Committee, specifically since Mr. Issa is the one that requested the audit?
Tucker: No sir, that was not my responsibility. I have responsibility at Internal Revenue Service for operations support.
Op-Ed: Now where have we heard that canned response before?????? She was the highest ranking officer at the IRS at the time of the TIGTA meeting, she failed and refused to come before Congress and correct the record of Mr. Shulman’s testimony he gave to Congress that there was no targeting of political groups by the IRS.
Rep. Jordan doesn’t tolerate her lackadaisical attitude and continues by asking if she has been disciplined for not correcting the record. “No sir, it’s not in my purview.”
Op-Ed: Of course she hasn’t been disciplined and tries to use the excuse that she isn’t responsible even though she is the highest ranking member of the IRS.
Jordan fires back asking her why she was in the meeting then if it wasn’t her responsibility. In that round, she admits: “There are lots of oversight investigations that happen at Internal Revenue Service.”
Op-Ed: Doesn’t that give the U.S taxpayers a lot of comfort to know? Watch for my scathing blog forthcoming on this admission.
Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC) (@RepMarkMeadows)
I’ve found a new Representative to keep my eyes on!
Next at bat, Representative Mark Meadows from the great state of North Carolina with some zingers of his own on Tucker’s contradictory testimony, specifically with her failure to recall the meeting where the IG briefed her on the preliminary results of his audit that substantiated the claims of targeting of conservative organizations.
Meadows: Ms. Tucker, that’s in direct conflict with what Mr. George said…what he said, that May 30th meeting, he went over preliminary results of the investigation that they’ve had and let you, Mr. Shulman and Mr. Miller know in that meeting, it was not the start of an audit, it was the preliminary results where targeting actually happened. You don’t recall that? Because I’m finding that a lot of members of the IRS have very great detail on recalling things at certain times and at other they lack the memory. So you don’t recall that he said that?
Tucker: Sir, I recall the meeting, the monthly meetings that we have with Mr. George and his team.
Meadows: And there was nothing unusual about this May 30th meeting? There was nothing unusual? It was a normal routine update that he saw fit to go four days later to chief counsel and let them know about it? That was Mr. George’s testimony. Your testimony and his are not matching up.
Tucker: Sir, I do not recollect and I have to keep going back to this. In our monthly meetings with Mr. George and his team, they cover a whole host of IRS audit issues.
Meadows: So there was nothing unusual about this particular time? That May 30th meeting, there was nothing unusual about that? This was just a normal routine update that you get every month?
Tucker: Sir, obviously when Mr. George conveyed to the Internal Revenue Service, that in the course of their examination, or their audit, that they were looking in to
Meadows: It was preliminary results Ms. Tucker not looking into. It was preliminary results where targeting was identified.
Tucker: And sir based on the testimony that I’ve seen from Mr. Miller following that discussion, to the best of my recollection, is when he took action to ask for an independent review.
Meadows: No that actually happened before….You earlier on said that this committee needs to continue to give you information. But yet you’re the one that’s paid for managing this whole organization. You’re the one that gets paid for it. We have oversight. And yet what we’re finding is we’re having to discover and manage the process of which you’re getting paid for. And here we are, you said 8 times “let me be clear”. So let me be clear, that the internal investigation that the IRS happened actually before May 30th. It was concluded the first part of May. It was started the day after Mr. Shulman gave testimony to the Ways and Means Committee saying that there was, that he could give assurances that there was no targeting and ya’ll started an internal investigation the very next day. So your timelines don’t match up Ms. Tucker. So how do we respond to the American people because all they want, the ranking member has said it, they want truth so that yet again they can trust. So how do we respond to that?
Tucker: Sir, I am trying to share with you the truth from what I know and what programs I have responsibility for. IRS is an organization of 100,000 people and multiple programs. I am the deputy commissioner for operations support. I do not have responsibility sir for oversight and administration of the Service and Enforcement program.
Stay tuned, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee is holding a full Committee Business Meeting to determine if IRS’ Lois Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights!